Integrative Nutrition Blog

How Health Coach Tanya Maher Opened Two Raw Food Restaurants in London

March 8, 2015

We are continually amazed by the success of our graduates. Through determination, passion, and lots of hard work, they able to accomplish truly incredible things. Tanya Maher, Class of 2013, is one such inspiring example. 

A Russian native raised in New Zealand now living in the UK, Tanya encapsulates all that we celebrate on International Women’s Day. She is an enthusiastic self-starter whose wellness journey led her to open two high-end raw food restaurants in London. Despite her tremendous success, she remains humble, grateful, and true to her vision of fueling the world with cleaner and healthier food. 

Tanya is taking over our Instagram account for the today – follow along here to see what she’s up to. Read below to learn more about her wellness journey and get inspired by her energy, optimism, and wonderful accomplishments.  

On discovering raw food: I've had two major encounters with raw food over my lifetime. The first happened after a near fatal car accident at fourteen. No amount of hospital food would stay in me and I was losing too much weight and my pancreas was so swollen that doctors proposed to cut it out. My family got desperate and asked me what food I could tolerate the thought of without feeling nauseous. It was peppermint tea, manuka honey and lots of fresh carrot juice that got me on a healing path. 

The second time raw food came in to my life was ten years later. This time it was here to stay. I read testimonials of others healing on raw and a lightbulb went off – that this is precisely what happened to me; I just wasn't aware of it then. It also occurred to me that if I and so many others healed using living foods, we could surely prevent illness. It was a no-brainer to explore more. I started playing in the kitchen and have never looked back. 

On becoming a Health Coach: It was at the time that I dove into learning more about raw foods, that I was discovering too many important facts to keep them to myself. I went door-knocking on offices and yoga studios and asked to hold a green smoothie workshop or a raw chocolate class. During my very first class someone approached me about private coaching and I said “yes” on the spot. I had to go home and literally Google the exact phrase “what is coaching”. I realised that the answer described me already and that there is a coach in all of us. IIN also helped to confirm this and when I discovered the Health Coach Training Program, I was ecstatic that certification was possible to make such vital work official. 

On enrolling at Integrative Nutrition: The online wellness gurus who I was mostly inspired by all seemed to be IIN qualified. When I was exposed to the awareness of this school, I saw signs everywhere! 

I mainly took the course for myself and to be a better support to the clients that I was already seeing, but as I dove into all the lectures, the fascinating readings and the everyday wellness mentality, I noticed that I began to attract even more clients energetically even before I graduated. I then became so busy, that I had to take down a page on my website which was about my coaching offer. The biggest opportunity of all came from connecting with my then-client, now-business-partner and opening not one but two high-end raw food cafes in London. 

On launching a raw food restaurant: I thought I was done with working in restaurants after my uni days and seeing just how much work goes into running one, I never exercised the idea. It all changed for me once I entered the wellness world. I couldn't go to a lot of cafes or order anything at most and my clients were experiencing the same. I was also on the lookout for where to go to eat not only plant-based food, but fresh food without any pesticides, and that wasn't easy to find even in a city as big as London. Then one day an image of a beautiful living wall inside a restaurant caught my attention. I cut it out and pasted to my vision board. Literally two weeks later I was already speaking to various parties about making this vision a reality. 

On challenges and growth: Tanya's Cafe inside myhotel Chelsea is not only serving a fully organic, raw, cold-pressed menu, but we are also the first Superfood Cocktail Bar in Europe. We face challenges every day, but I'm a firm believer in “no problem without a solution” so we treat a challenge like a game. Sometimes none of the suppliers have certain organic ingredients for our menu, so we have to find a creative way to do without. We just won't compromise on quality and luckily our loving customers understand and have learned to really trust us because of this. We are also growing quickly and only after seven short months of operation, have already opened Tanya's #2, so it always feels like we are in a recruiting stage. I'm so blessed to work with such incredible souls who share my passion for healthy living. 

On her favorite part of her work: It's cheesy, but after five years of building a business and a global community online, my favorite part is meeting members of the IIN community in the flesh. It's the most humbling experience to see you enjoying the cuisine I am so passionate about and to hear how far you've travelled for it. I love hearing your stories, how you discovered raw food and what an influence you are on the eating habits of those closest to you. There's just nothing a Health Coach wants to see more than a confirmation on how good food and a healthy outlook on life are capable of bringing all the happiness in the world. 

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