Interview with Lena Vergas
Meet Lena, our Amagansett Organic Krush general manager. We met Lena almost a year ago and were so taken by her calm disposition, organized work ethic, and love of people and food! We wanted to know more about what makes her tick, so we sat her down over a cup of wellness tea and asked her some questions!
Q: What does a typical day look like for you, when you are off duty?
I am an early riser, so even on my off days I am up and drinking coffee by 7am (although off days get an extra cup, and usually a midday almond milk cappuccino or matcha latte). A free day ahead means enough time for a long run, anywhere between 6-8 miles on the Hither Hill Trails of Montauk. Post-run is brunch time. I eat a lot of eggs since I have chickens, and fresh eggs abound. Two-eggs, scrambled, with toasted and buttered grain bread, will never let me down. The rest of the day I try to either embark on a new cooking project, go for a walk on the beach, read and/or write poetry (I minored in creative writing!), and of course, get any boring errands done (oh, and clean my room).
Q: Tell us about your love of food and community.
My mother ran a local general store when I was growing up, and it was really the community aspect that had such a lasting impression on me. She knew everyone, and they all knew me as the child knocking down paper towels off the shelves. Even now, customers come into Krush in Amagansett and say, “You’re Sharon’s daughter right? I remember you when you were just a kid at the Springs General Store.” Having watched my mother, I value customers as a community; whether it’s knowing their order, talking local news, life updates and more. Working at a local food establishment in a small town is much more than just providing delicious meals. Food has always been part of my life in different ways; my grandfather who was a professional chef in NYC, my father with a love of cooking, and my stepfather who is a farmer. People and food are really all I know!
Q: Is it true you have worked as a farmer?
Yes! For many summers I worked for my stepfather who is a farmer on the East End and runs the Springs, Farmers Market. Farming has always been a part of my life because of my stepfather, but also because I grew up in a place with such a deep farming history. Weeding rows of greens and root vegetables are meditative for me, and I have been crowned the ultimate strawberry-picker (mostly because I am the one with the 20-year old back that can take to standing bent over for hours).
Q: What is your deepest wish for the food movement?
I have always been passionate about access. I think food deserts and the like are some of the largest issues the food movement has to tackle. Regardless of an increase in awareness, increase in companies pledging to use organic/non-GMO ingredients, etc., I consider the availability (or rather, the lack thereof) component in many parts of the country (the world too) as a gage of success.
Q: Favorite Organic Krush juice, snack and build a bowl?
Juice: Fix Me Up
Snack: Sweet Potato Muffin
Build-a-bowl: Chickpeas over sautéed spinach with sweet potatoes, cabbage, kale, and mushrooms, Curry Ginger Dressing on the side. (I’m obsessed with veggies!)