Mama Sed Name It Delinsta

April 26, 2017

Every restaurant name has a story behind it. No matter how insignificant it may seem, it can play a big role relaying your brand’s voice to the customer.

Adam Sobel from Cinnamon Snail said he got his name from a Danish customer who would always stop by his vegan cinnamon roll stand and exclaim “Kanelsnegl!” Over time, Sobel and his wife learned that it literally translated to “Cinnamon Snail,” and the name stuck when they opened their food truck. The name reminds customers of their humble beginnings and their devoted customer base.

By Chloe, another vegan restaurant (though who knows how long it’ll remain that way), got its name from Chloe Coscarelli, the famous chef behind the brand. Not only does this convey the prestige behind the food, seeing as Coscarelli has written several cookbooks and has even won a well-known television competition called Cupcake Wars, but it relays how she invested her time and love in her food and is now serving it to you “By” her.

Mama Sed, the original name for my concept, was born out of the memories I have of my mom telling me to “eat my vegetables.” As every child does, I would stage consecutive world wars every night, fighting away her steamed broccoli. However, being an inventive latin mother, my mom never seized to argue with me and eventually found victory by putting different condiments and dressings over my greens. Often something as simple as lime and salt would do the trick, and she’s be surprised by the amount of times we’d asked to go back for second helpings of vegetables we has tossed to the floor weeks before.

Mama Sed was supposed to do the same thing for its customers- make vegetables easier to eat and (dare I say) even craveable! While the story fit the concept perfectly, I had to think about the future of my business. I am dedicating my career to growing this company, and I won’t stop until I see the concept become a national chain. From animal welfare, to environmental and personal health reasons, there are so many pros to eating more plants, and my research has shown that the main thing holding people back from eating more of them is taste (my pre-limed broccoli-hating self would concur!).

Unfortunately, I learned that “Mama Said” was already trademarked by another restaurant in New York, which led to the variation of “Mama SED” which stands for “Mama Said Eat Deliberately.” The name seemed to stick, but was met with that long smiling, “ahhh,” people say after they get the punchline to a bad joke. Some people said things like, “but you’re not a mom,” “shouldn’t the concept be more related to you as a 21 year old,” and several other versions of the simple, “I just don’t like it.”

Being an entrepreneur, you have to know when to trust your gut and when to take advice from other people who have a different, and possibly better, perspective on a matter than you do. These comments weren’t the catalyst that caused the name change, but they definitely made me more open minded about continuing my search. Then came my week long trip of eating practically all of the vegan burgers and doughnuts I could find in New York City, and I realized that every single restaurant had more female customers than male, except Superiority Burger! If other restaurants were attracting the vegan girl and her boyfriend, Superiority Burger was bringing in the construction worker from across the street in addition to the other classic vegan clientele. I literally sat in the restaurant for far too long, and tried to figure out what they were doing that the other restaurants weren’t.

Two vegan burgers later, the difference was apparent. The story they were telling was completely different than Blossom, By Chloe, Dirt Candy, or {insert any other well known plant based restaurant}. Superiority Burger doesn’t have a feminine vibe in the name– that’s the initial attraction. No construction worker will become the butt of a joke for admitting he went to a burger place. Second, the menu is known as being “vegetarian,” even though most of the food is accidentally vegan. There is something to be said about getting people to eat more vegetables without realizing their healthy choices… and that’s when I remembered my Instagram.

From the first day that I went vegan, I started posting pictures of my food online. I had always taken photos of my food in the past, but they didn’t have a purpose besides allowing me to eternally admire the food’s meticulous presentation. Posting pictures of the vegan food I made kept me on track, and actually turned my focus onto plating rather than realizing I was missing most of the foods I normally had on my plate. Two years later, posting these pictures led to 10,000 followers on my page and a community that whole heartedly supported me, even if they weren’t vegan themselves. Suddenly, I would run into friends or classmates in the area and they’d say “your food looks amazing,” “I can’t believe you eat like that all the time,” “I would go vegan if you made me food from your Instagram,” etc. etc. Every day, without fail, I have an unsolicited conversation about my Instagram page. So, what if I just started making people the food that they seem so excited about? What if I made accidental (always delicious) plant based food that was quickly prepared and plated so beautifully that people forgot there was meat, dairy, and eggs missing from the plate? That’s when Delinsta was born.

“Del” means “from” in Spanish, which was actually my first language and plays a more discrete tribute to my mother and our latin heritage, while “Insta” is, of course, short for “Instagram.” Disclaimer: if Instagram comes after me for this, then this was all just to be funny and the name is a mix of the words “Instantly” and “Delicious.” This new name speaks to me, as a 21 year old trying to get people more excited about eating plants, and also takes away some of the femininity that was oozing from “Mama Sed” that might just bring in those construction workers.

As always, please comment below and let me know what you think! This is a test concept for a large scale venture and any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

 

P.S. Just might be signing the lease soon!!

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One Comment

  1. Finally got around to reading your blog, and I love the name change Jacky! I think it’s perfect, personal and relevant (: I agree with you that shying away from a more feminine name might just be the best way to go. So excited to see your restaurant take off and I wish you all the best!!

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