Updated: Jul 1
Bolsita Verde takes Mallorca by storm - not hurricane
“Mallorca? Can I bring my bicycle there?”
That was all Michele van der Werff wanted to know when her boyfriend suggested they move to this glittering Mediterranean pearl.
Fast forward two years, and she is firmly ensconced on the island, bicycle and boyfriend intact. When I meet her in her office in Son Dameto she is busy taking orders, arranging photo shoots and planning for the future logistics of her new adventure, Bolsita Verde (Little green bag), the first Meal Kit delivery service in Mallorca.
“Meal Kit delivery has been around in Europe for years, but no one in Mallorca has done it, until now” she explains as I sit there looking like a question mark, because I have never heard of this thing. Apparently it’s food, delivered to your door - but you have to cook it yourself.
So why not just do the whole thing yourself?
Michele explains that a lot of people actually like cooking, but find measuring and counting grammes, teaspoons and litres a drag. They also don’t like wasting food - and wasting time shopping for it.
“With our system, you get exactly the right amount of ingredients needed for each recipe; no measuring needed and no waste,” she smiles, showing me little dainty glass jars with spices and condiments.
“I had been thinking about Meal Kit delivery for a long time, but didn’t want to do what other companies do, with lots of plastic and paper waste. We deliver in reusable cooler bags, and take them and the glass jars after use. We have various drop-off points around town. The few things that can’t be delivered straight in the bag are wrapped in biodegradable material. Even the delivery, LDS Mallorca, is emission free, using only bicycles and electric scooters.”
Sounds good! I’m not a fan of excessive packaging and car fumes, and don’t like eating off paper plates with plastic forks and certainly not drinking out of paper or plastic glasses.
So if I suddenly want a super healthy, plant-based meal one evening, can I just summon the Bolsita Verde green delivery dude?
“No, unfortunately that’s not how it works. Because our goal is no food waste, we only shop for exactly the right amount, i.e. after receiving the orders. But you can subscribe to weekly deliveries, and select from 9 recipes. The recipe is delivered together with the meal. We try to make it as simple to follow as possible.”
So, is Michele a vegan herself?
“I’m Dutch! I can’t live without my cheese. But I try to eat as healthily as possible. And you know, you don’t have to be vegan or even vegetarian to use these recipes. You can add meat and fish as you please. My boyfriend is Irish and used to eat just meat and potatoes, but even he had to admit that the Bolsita Verde recipes are delicious. And small wonder, for I have an excellent chef inventing all the recipes, Emiliano from Argentina.”
People must need some cooking skills to be able to conjure up these colourful dishes, right?
“No, they just have to be able to read English or Spanish. But it's really important that they read them carefully, and then follow them,” she advises, smiling with white teeth. The tall and beautiful woman must have created something of a stir on her last island adventure, on St. Maarten in the Caribbean, where she was “the person in charge of regatta.”
“Oh, my brother was living there and once when I went to see him they kind of asked me if I wanted to be in charge of the regatta. I thought I would stay for one year, but three and a half years later I was still there. But then came Hurricane Irma, the strongest hurricane in history.”
And St. Maarten was right in its path.
“So scary! We rushed to a high point on the island and hid in a hurricane proof house, but it was still shaking. And when we emerged, the whole island was just - gone. I had been wanting to leave St. Maarten anyway, but the hurricane made it even easier. We couldn’t go to Ireland because the weather is shit. Amsterdam... is fine, but the weather is shit. So when my boyfriend was offered a job in Mallorca, we didn’t hesitate.”
Well, people, it seems that Mallorca just got a little bit better! No waste - hooray! All you need is the ability to read and a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and you’re off! Oh, and perhaps a few shavings of cheese. Dutch, of course.
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