Posted On June 18, 2023

A rural entrepreneur produces artisanal and ethical vegetable foods in the Teruel town of Alcorisa

admin 0 comments
>> Plant foods >> A rural entrepreneur produces artisanal and ethical vegetable foods in the Teruel town of Alcorisa
A rural entrepreneur produces artisanal and ethical vegetable foods in the Teruel town of Alcorisa

Yla Eunice Zapater Sanz lives in Alcorisa, although she has not always resided there. For a time she was based in Tarragona, but two years ago, and with the pandemic in the way, she and her partner, a forest firefighter, headed back to Bajo Aragón. Yla is an example of so many people who go through different jobs before finding their place in the world, in her case and as she herself confesses, “perhaps a little by chance.”

After taking some training courses, he found making vegetable and organic cheeses an occupation that satisfied several of his interests. On the one hand, he could create his own employment; adapted to the needs of his recent motherhood, to the place where he had decided to live, a town of just over three thousand inhabitants; and the shortage of labor supply. And, on the other hand, the opportunity was presented to her to make healthy foods, whose main ingredients were produced with ecological products, responsibility and, above all, with social conscience. Thus, eight months ago, Yla Zapater’s workshop was born in Alcorisa, under the name of Umami Ethical Food.

An artisanal and ethical process

The first product on their menu of preparations was cheese. A variety of organic and artisanal vegetable cheeses for which this entrepreneur uses “organic cashews and organic almonds from Bajo Aragón” as raw materials. Other products such as chicken have been added to the cheese: “When consumers try it, they do not believe that it is not really chicken meat, because the texture is practically identical,” explains Yla Zapater. Spices are also a fundamental part to achieve the flavor that, together with the texture, provides that similarity with poultry meat.

This producer from Alcorisa wanted to put on the market a vegetable alternative for those people who, for ethical or health reasons, do not drink dairy products and, at the same time, offer a raw, tasty and innovative product that would reach the general public. All UMAMI preparations are suitable for lactose intolerant people, they are made without gluten, and they can also be consumed by people with cholesterol and diabetes problems (since they are sugar-free). “I believe that with my line of foods I can contribute to the change in society towards healthier lifestyle and consumption habits,” says Yla Zapater, something that she considers “very necessary.”

With UMAMI, Yla wants to “awaken consciences” in a “sleeping” world, opening the eyes of consumers by providing them with new experiences through the palate, to demonstrate that a healthy and balanced diet can also be achieved with substitute products for animal meat, and that the nutrients, flavor and joy can be experienced without having to consume preservatives, colorings and the rest of the additives that today, practically all packaged products on the market reflect on their labels.

Less than a year after its launch, and only selling to order, UMAMI already offers six different varieties of cheese, an extensive menu of meats: blood sausage, chicken, hamburgers, skewers, meatballs, seitan fillets, and also prepares raw desserts; a raw preparation that does not use refined sugars.

The loneliness of the rural entrepreneur

Yla carries out each of the steps that make up her business alone: ​​she creates the recipes, she does the tests, then she prepares the product and finally markets it. But it is not the absence of another soul in her workshop that makes this producer from Bajo Aragón feel alone, but rather the concept of entrepreneurship itself for a woman who lives in a town.

Most women who decide to start their own business in places with a low population have this “feeling of loneliness” in common, because as Yla explains, “many times you don’t have anyone to talk to, or someone to share your doubts with.” , concerns and even small achievements.” Female entrepreneurship in a town is still accompanied by phrases like “are you sure of what you are doing?”, “you just became a mother, are you going to be able to handle this business now?” And if the product deviates from the established normality, doubts increase and with them the phrases of discouragement “but are you sure someone is going to buy it?” or “how are you going to sell it and to whom if you are in a small town”?

In this sense, Yla’s journey up to this point has not been different from that of her predecessors. At first it was difficult for him to find a place to establish the workshop, and not because of its requirements or because of the lack of real estate supply but because of the unrealistic cost of many of the available rentals. And second, the process of making the family and those closest to them understand that starting their own business could be a valid and realistic option towards self-employment has not been easy either.

Women need to be links of the same bracelet

On June 13 and 14, the national Rurantivity meeting was held in Madrid, with the presence of more than 200 women from all corners of rural Spain, both the peninsula and the islands. All of them entrepreneurs. All of them with the same concerns, doubts, and that feeling of loneliness, “that finally some like me have been able to share” confesses Yla Zapater, a new attendee at this forum in which UMAMI Ethical Food has won a scholarship from the entrepreneurship program. national Ruraltivity, promoted by FADEMUR and Pepsico. The scholarship is endowed with 5,000 euros and the support of the entity for the development of this venture in Bajo Aragón, with the essence of a woman. More than one hundred entrepreneurship projects have been submitted this year for these scholarships, of which only ten are awarded in the entire Spanish territory.

The ethical vision and the preparation of recipes with organically certified ingredients, in addition to the artisanal process of UMAMI, have earned its creator, Yla Zapater, this scholarship with which she will be able to “continue investing in machinery to be able to work and buy a chest.” freezer to store desserts”, he also plans to invest a part of this scholarship in design and marketing for his business and its different product lines and, of course, “in continuing to buy raw materials to produce a little more each time” he adds.

The next step is to break into new markets in which your product is attractive, and also to be able to show it through tastings and workshops in which the attending public has the possibility of tasting the flavor of the cheeses, meats and desserts, but that it is also a forum in which to give visibility to the plant-based movement from which UMAMI was born, promoting responsible, quality, healthy, ethical and conscious consumption, with foods prepared in an artisanal way, by a woman, from the rural Aragonese world. .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *