Meet the Maker, Tamara Atanasyan, Co-founder of floret, Florence
Sharing an unconditional love for food and hospitality, Tamara and Maurizio united their experience in the luxury, fashion and gastronomy industry to offer a fusion of healthy food concepts in the heart of Florence. We discuss with them the origins of Floret as well as their passion for healthy food.
Where does your passion for food come from?
From exploring different cultures and their food habits but also a lot from my family. I am certain there is no Armenian family that doesn’t have a passion for food! My partner Maurizio and I have always had a strong affinity for gastronomy. He has worked in the sector for 15 years. I wanted us to combine our skills to launch something totally new in Florence. Floret is not just a restaurant; It’s a lifestyle and a community. A place to unwind & re-energize. An oasis in the heart of the city.
When did you think about opening the Floret restaurant?
Every idea starts at the moment you realize something is missing. That sort of concept was still remarkably untouched in Florence. I grew up in Germany, surrounded by the vibrant, healthy food industry and constant new food trends. When I first met Maurizio 6 years ago in Florence there was no sign of avocado, cold-pressed juices, smoothies, even salty breakfast was a challenge unless you went to very touristic places or had breakfast in hotels. The terminology “brunch” was not an every-day use. That’s when Maurizio and I saw a niche, an opportunity to propose something new.
We make sure that each guest leaves happy, satisfied and most importantly nourished
Italians are very proud of their cuisine. How did they react to these new concepts, especially in Florence?
I’m happy to see that they are very curious about new restaurants concepts. Florence is becoming more and more experimental, and I can see a trend leading towards opening more fusion places, international places.
What can one expect at the Floret?
We wanted to create a sort of home away from home and included dishes for different tastebuds in our menu. Artisan, organic food really has no limits. We inspired by a fusion of cultures united with top-notch organic ingredients. Maurizio and I are almost always there, and we make sure that each guest leaves happy, satisfied and most importantly nourished. We opened Floret one and a half years ago and are planning on expanding in Italy.
Where do you find your products?
We get our fresh produce 100% from local suppliers. Yet all the superfood products, dried fruits and nuts are sourced internationally. We have many products from Germany, Australia, the Fiji Islands and even from Brazil – I think this really makes a big difference. Most of our competitors are all very vegan, very vegetarian or only gluten-free. We personally made a point of combining a health angle but with a broader offer. We serve chicken. We serve fish and eggs. We are not vegan, and we also serve gluten, but we make sure that we serve the best quality ingredients from suppliers we believe in. We aim to create a like-minded community that enjoys our food, our juices and participates in our events like workshops, yoga and more interesting ones coming up in Summer.
Can we say you are less extreme in your approach?
Exactly. Everyone can find something they like here.
The giraffe’s neck is so long, it is standing so high and tall that it can see into the future: Exactly what our plan is for Floret
Can you tell us about the giraffe?
The giraffe is tall and standing high, it can see far, kind of into the future: Exactly what our plan is for floret, to be a step ahead.
Is that why you chose the incredible giraffe designs from People of the Sun?
That was a coincidence! I typed giraffe sugar holders, and I found them on the internet! I was absolutely amazed by their philosophy, their design, the team, … They convey such a simple yet powerful message. I love their pictures showing how and who makes the products.
Does that reflect Florets values?
Yes, definitely. We only source out from suppliers who believe in. Small businesses like us: We want to keep it in the family.
What is essential when opening a restaurant?
Coming from Armenia and having traveled to a lot of places (I’ve moved 24 times in my life!) and eaten in a lot of places, I’m very attentive to details. Service is everything. You have to have your eyes open and, as much as you can, try and read your client’s mind. Knowing before them what they need, so they don’t have to ask. Then, of course, it’s about the food. Food is my favourite thing. I want my team to have a smile on their face when they cook it and when they serve it. I think people can tell (and taste) when there is no love in it. I consider my team like a small family, and we have a lot of fun together. I am Armenian and grew up in Germany, Maurizio is Italian. Our tribe comes from all over the world: Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, France, Russia, the Netherlands,….you name it! Its a core value of floret, a fusion of cultures both reflected in our menu and in our tribe. floret is not just a restaurant: its an experience.