Nemanja Golubovic: Cooking Up Change for People, Animals, and Planet
Hi everyone, Spiffy here, your one and only interplanetary journalist reporting from Planet Earth. I’m thrilled to be talking to Nemanja Golubovic, owner of Kale My Name, and an entrepreneur working to make the world better for humans, animals, and the planet, through his vegan food! Are you ready to be enlightened?
Spiffy: Hi Nemanja, I smell something delicious cooking! Can you tell me what challenges you are addressing?
Nemanja: I’d love to, Spiffy! Kale My Name promotes a cruelty-free, plant-based lifestyle. With every meal served we transform the way all people—both vegans and non-vegans—see the vegan movement. We present this lifestyle in a positive, welcoming, and judgment-free way every day.
Spiffy: Wonderful! And what motivated you to convince the world of the benefits of veganism?
Nemanja: Our journey of becoming vegan started out of concern for the animals, but we began to realize all the positive health and lifestyle changes it has brought us. We have also realized how great of an impact it has on the environment and we are trying to bring more people on board with us throughout the journey.
Spiffy: How would you say that you are working to make the world a more equitable place?
Nemanja: Our restaurant offers eco-friendly packaging while also avoiding single-use plastic items as much as we can. We run fundraisers on our patio and donate a certain percent of our sales to nonprofit organizations that are working towards our collective goal—to make this world a more compassionate place.
Spiffy: Are there any exciting milestones you’ve reached lately?
Nemanja: Well, Spiffy, a big milestone for us was a few weeks ago when we sold over 2,000 meals within two days. According to cowspiracy calculations, over 2,000 plant-based meals can save 401,500 gallons of water, 10,950 sq ft of forests, and 300 animals. It felt pretty amazing and it gave us the motivation to keep going.
Pictures from Kale My Name’s Instagram profile @kalemyname. (Image courtesy of Nemanja Golubovic)
Spiffy: I believe we can all learn from failure. What about you? Can you share an experience when you faced failure and didn't give up?
Nemanja: Operating a business during a global pandemic definitely has its challenges. We didn’t have enough employees to keep up with demand and hiring wasn’t easy. There have been days that I have felt completely down and was considering quitting. I really felt like I was disappointing people, but somehow, I kept looking at the positive things. I can’t say I learned, but I’m definitely better at not taking everything too personally. We can have 1,000 happy customers, but that one unhappy customer will keep me stressed at night and give me so much anxiety that I can’t sleep. Like the fictional character, Monica Geller says, “I got this uncomfortable need to please everybody.” I’m learning to accept that not everyone is my customer.
Spiffy: Before we sign off, is there anything unexpected you’ve learned recently?
Nemanja: I’m learning something new every day. Unexpected and unfortunate events in Afghanistan broke my heart and made me realize how incredibly lucky I am to live this life. I’m learning to be much more grateful for everything I have.
Spiffy: Thanks for that reminder, Nemanja, and thanks for talking with me. It’s been a pleasure.
Nemanja Golubovic, owner of Kale My Name, was born and raised in Montenegro. He graduated with a degree in public relations from Mexico, speaks four languages, and lived and worked in several different countries before immigrating to the United States seven years ago. From day one, Nemanja has worked in the restaurant industry and lives by the motto—vegan for the animals, health, and earth. (First published on the Ladderworks website on September 7, 2021.)
© 2021 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Jill Landis Jha. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. Follow Spiffy’s interviews of founders building a more equitable world here.