Marta is a young entrepreneur who leads the CookArt project. Her environmental and food health concerns made the project conscious and, together with her ideas and creativity, she works so that her recipes can contribute to an improvement in local and, perhaps later, international environmental and social health.
Curious? Enter Marta’s artistic and creative world with us!
Marta, sincerely, admits that the initial goal of CookArt…
… would go through the creation of a ‘’ space ’’ where she could explore her creativity and invent her own sweets and then sell.
But she recently started to realize that her business could follow a more sustainable and healthy course. Currently, the objective of the project is to provide solutions for snacks and sweets/ desserts that can be consumed by everyone, including people with food intolerances and with diverse eating styles. In addition to providing healthy, sustainable and alternative foods, Marta guarantees its quality and food safety.
While making the products, she also discloses healthy food alternatives and easier ways to cook or prepare food, providing information about food and encouraging her customers to adopt a practical, diverse and healthy lifestyle.
… provides original recipes to its customers. Cheesecakes and homemade cakes are the products available for local sale in Espinho, but giant vegan Cookies can be sent all over the country. CookArt’s product range has been increasing as customers have also grown.
Marta Aluai Moreira is the only responsible for CookArt,…
… but her friends and family are the main source of motivation, ideas and support, allowing the project to continue and grow. To them, Marta is “eternally grateful”.
She is a young entrepreneur of 24 and is finishing her master’s degree in Chemical Engineering.
… in mid-2019 as a hobby for Marta to create her recipes and sweets and be able to share that with people. Marta has loved cooking since she was little, especially when it comes to making desserts. She has always been curious and wanted to understand the scientific basis and how food can be made, taking advantage of this knowledge for her own lifestyle and diet. Marta does not consider herself a specialist in nutrition, but tries to apply her knowledge to her recipes.
During the quarantine period Marta went through a process of reflection and realized that her business should also follow her lifestyle, thus producing healthy and more environmental friendly products. She also adjusted her recipes to people with limitations in their diet. The alternative food market is growing, but Marta feels that there is still a lot to explore. The idea that vegan foods cannot be sweet or tasty, is an idea that Marta intends to demystify. “On the contrary, I really want that with this project, whoever the person is and whatever the food style they follow, I think it is possible to eat well, eating healthier”.
CookArt was structured to be sustainable…
… using simple and healthy recipes that can be made quickly and easily, promoting consumption in home and a more conscious food consumption by its customers. The product recipes are prepared in order to avoid food waste and try to minimize the use of plastic to what is strictly necessary in the packaging of raw materials, during the preparation and handling of the final product. Cookies are sent throughout the country and as such, are transported in a kraft paper bag, coated with aluminum. The bag has a pressure closure to prolong the product’s durability and prevent damage to the food. Marta has reduced the use of animal ingredients and processed foods, in order to produce more sustainable.
Like all ventures, CookArt has faced different challenges…
… as for example, some related to the issue of food safety and food preservation. The use of raw materials involved in plastic is still a reality, as it is a cheap alternative, but Marta has been discovering new ways to obtain quality raw materials that do not require plastic, such as bulk purchases.
She highlights the importance of local and varied production, in order to obtain local and quality raw materials, as she has had great difficulty in finding certain local products in Espinho.
It is not easy to manage a product business with quality and concerned with issues of sustainability and the environment. The raw material and its handling have a cost that must be included in the final price, making the product more expensive but with many added advantages. Unfortunately, there are still many customers who just see the dollar sign and can’t see what’s beyond it.
Distribution is also a major difficulty in this case. Postage costs are expensive and often do not deliver properly. This problem is making it very difficult to expand the business.
The market for alternative sweets and snacks, according to Marta…
… is a growing market, but with the potential to outperform even more. Some online and physical sales solutions are already visible. The only problem that exists in most of these businesses is that the products are available in individual doses, which creates the need to produce more packaging and more plastics.
There are many wonderful spaces that have emerged in recent times, such as restaurants specializing in healthy eating, with vegan, vegetarian options and options for those intolerant to gluten, lactose, etc.
In Marta’s opinion…
… education and information are the basis for people to really know how sustainable food systems should work. Awareness of these issues has to start early in school and continue throughout people’s educational path. To educate, it is necessary to demonstrate how situations work in practice and to further demystify the concept of healthy and sustainable food.
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