A new restaurant concept that aims to feed your body and nourish your soul.
Stress – everyone knows it, everyone has it. We all go through changes, frequent ups and downs, and therefore experience phases in our life that are more stressful than others. For most people, a certain level of stress even seems normal and a constant in our day-to-day routine. But what if the stress we’re feeling gets out of control and starts controlling us? We feel so overwhelmed that we are on the verge of collapse, getting sick. Bunout. At that point, we might realize that the only way to gain back our control is with the help of a professional. Yet, if lying on the stereotypical couch and spilling your feelings to a shrink seems daunting, intimidating or downright embarrassing, how would you like to attend a confidential, one-on-one coaching session in a light, airy and welcoming café that serves homemade eats, local drinks and a cold foot bath on a hot day?
This, exactly, is the business model of Kitchen2Soul in Munich (Neuhausen), Germany, that opened its doors on July 1, 2015. Revolving around their customers’ physical as well as emotional wellbeing, Kitchen2Soul was created by two lifelong friends who have had the idea of combining their professional backgrounds and personal interests into an innovative project that offers people a space to connect, to slow down and to indulge.
To learn more about it, I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with its owners and managers, Katrin Große (on the left) and Dr. Tatjana Reichhart (on the right).
HH: How did Kitchen2Soul come about?
TR: While we have known each other for 30 years, this project actually came to life fairly quickly. We have had the idea since January and opened in July. It’s our baby and it takes up almost as much time as one [laughs]. At least that’s what I imagine. Katrin is a hotel manager by trade. She has always loved to cook, to host and entertain people. In 2006, though, she changed careers and has been working in the human resources department of a consulting firm as a certified business coach focusing on personnel development and retention. I have been working as a clinical psychiatrist and chief medical officer in a hospital for the last ten years. With Kitchen2Soul we wanted to do something that could combine all of this into one. We want to focus on people’s comfort and health. What do we need in order to stay healthy?
HH: How would you describe the concept of your business?
KG: Think of the Kitchen2Soul as a big, cozy kitchen. In the center, we have a café that serves light meals and snacks during the day. On the left, we have a bookstore that offers books, gifts and little fun things that are intended to enrich our guests’ lives. Everything here is meant for people to reward themselves or to brighten someone else’s day. On the right, we have our coaching facility. This is where we offer one-on-one coaching sessions as well as workshops. We also rent out the space for other coaches and counselors to meet with clients or for companies to host meetings.
HH: What sets your bookstore apart?
TR: My boyfriend Markus is a bookseller by trade. He manages our inventory. Every single book you see in here is handpicked by our team. We offer a wide variety of textbooks that are meant specifically for coaches and therapists. But we also have books for anybody who is looking for specific answers to life’s questions or simply to get inspired and explore new ideas.
KG: We also have Chronicle Books in English that are not as easily found around here. They have these cool workbooks that offer a ton of inspiration. We also have fun games for adults as well as games and books for kids. We want to include children because they should be well and feel happy right from the start.
HH: Tell me more about the restaurant. What kind of food do you serve?
KG: I love to bake, especially quiches and sweets like cheesecake. We also serve pasta, salads, and sandwiches. I almost make everything myself and our menu changes frequently. I get inspired by cookbooks or let my own creativity flow. The most important thing is that everything is local and in-season. Most of our produce comes from my parents’ garden. Tatjana’s mom makes jam that we also sell in the store. Most of our beverages are local, too: Inge, Flause, and Giesinger Beer are all made in Munich and its surrounding areas. Even our coffee – Fausto – comes from a small roasting facility in Munich Giesing.
HH: Who comes to Kitchen2Soul for coaching? Who is your clientele?
TR: Right now, everyone! Most people that come here don’t come specifically because they need help. They walk by and come in because they want to eat or take a break. Most of the time, we all just get to talking. Or they see a book such as “Burnout Prevention” on our shelf. They then start asking some questions and once they understand what we do, they might want to find out more regarding our counseling services. We have had people from all walks of life, whatever their circumstances and regardless of age or social class, inquire about our services. Stay-at-home mothers, working mothers, executives, electricians – everyone has stress. And the key here is to recognize and learn how to manage it. Oftentimes, our stress is created by ourselves! Psychology or therapy still has somewhat of a stigma. It’s uncomfortable. We want to eliminate people’s fears and reservations. We want to teach them in a positive environment how they can lead a happy, healthy and prosperous life.
HH: You have been open for a few weeks now. What kind of response are you getting?
TR: We haven’t hosted any coaching sessions or workshops yet – we are starting next month – but we have rented out our facilty already. Also, we have had great response to our café. Especially people in the Neuhausen neighborhood seem to appreciate what we do. We have had a couple of ladies that have been here every day for lunch since we opened.
HH: What are your hopes for the future of Kitchen2Soul?
TR: We want people to feel like we poured our heart and soul into this place. Everything from the kitchen counter to the furniture was handmade and is one of a kind. My boyfriend, for example, made all the lamps out of mason jars and Italian espresso makers. We also get great support from our families. My mom makes these little bags and baskets we are selling in the store. It is truly a family business and that is super important to us.
KG: I hope that all three areas of the business – the restaurant, the bookstore as well as the coaching side – will all work in unison going forward. Even though we have started marketing all three separately and to different target groups, we still want all of them to function together. I really want for people to welcome and accept our idea.
Thank you, Tatjana and Katrin! Good luck for your future and the future of your business.
If you are in the Munich area, I recommend you check out Kitchen2Soul for yourself. Whether you are looking to be coached into realizing your own potential that will allow you to live a fuller, more joyous life, simply want to unwind in a unique, feel-good environment or buy a meaningful gift for yourself or others, look no further! This extraordinary place has something for everyone.