I started my life in Argentina, in a low income, challenging family that believed education and hard work would transcend poverty and help you rise to a better place. During all my childhood and young years, I lived under government dictatorship. Even if our environment was very humble, my own parents, children of European immigrants themselves, worked very hard to give my brother and I a good future. He became an engineer, and at 20 years old, I became a professor of education. Immediately after, I enrolled in graduate school to study social development, and three years later, I met this beautiful man full of dreams and excitement. He had decided to explore the world for a better future. It sounded so exhilarating, that with tons of trepidation, we embarked in this extraordinary journey that brought us to the U.S.
We are a family of immigrants from Argentina who arrived to this amazing land more than 30 years ago. We brought a strong set of values, and strong hands to work for our future. America offered exactly what we wanted from our life: the promise of freedom and the pursuit of our dreams. We were ready for the challenge and knew we needed a little hope and a lot of hard work to fulfill our aspirations. And the U.S did not disappoint! Life was full of surprises, some great, and some very, very tough, but the good ones were... exceptionally good. We gave birth to four of the most amazing people you’ll ever meet, three sons and a daughter that cannot make us more proud.
Most of the time, Daniel worked more than 80 hours a week in restaurants, and other odd jobs, while I worked full-time as a director for the local YMCA branch. Before that, I had delivered newspapers, was a dishwasher, cleaned houses, and babysat, all while raising my own great kids. Eventually, we both achieved our American citizenship. The feeling of pride was overwhelming. This place that we were building our future, was now our country.
In 1997, after working for years as a cook/chef for others, Daniel opened Café Con Leche Restaurant in Newtown, PA. It was ‘love at first taste’ with our community. From the very beginning, they loved Daniel’s cuisine; a fusion of different flavors with a healthy, and fresh approach.
We were the prototype of the American dream, immigrants whom after working very hard, opened their own business, bought a lovely home in a safe neighborhood, and raised a beautiful family. Subsequently, we realized that we needed to open a second business to pay the college tuition for our four bright children, and so it went, until in 2008 our future started crashing down. Health issues, major stress, and an unstable economy brought all dreams to a halt. We closed our second restaurant, went bankrupt, and lost everything we had work so hard and long to achieve.
But 2012, Daniel, LUHV's famous chef and head of our family, decided to love our family back to health, he could not control the economy, but he knew how to make anything and everything taste delicious. After hours of research and experimentation, he found in veganism the answer to most of our health concerns. Shortly after, my husband and I became adamant vegans, so we introduced these new ultra healthy items into our already wholesome menu at Cafe con Leche. Needless to say, the result was transformational, and our customers wanted more and more of this new direction. With the support of our community, we established a full vegan menu and a new staple for our town. Which is why we love our community, because together we have made each other better.
Just like that, veganism became part of our family. It just fit perfectly with who we were. It trickled into every part of our lifestyle, from confirming our beliefs in protecting the environment, and increasing our family’s wellbeing, to adopting the absolute best dog ever. Life felt so good, that I just wanted to share all our experiences with others. I wanted to share how the worst thing that had happened to us eventually became the best thing for our family.
Although my strength was regained, I was a nearly fifty years old, without any personal income. I had to rely on our business and husband for financial support, with four children, whom one was finishing college at a prestigious university, another one going into college, one in middle school, and another in elementary, and ...I just could not take care of them.
In 2015, after tremendous emotional, physical and financial difficulties, the idea to package this amazing food was born. My older son, Facundo, came back home from NYC to help me, and the rest is LUHV’s own story.
Nevertheless, the most important thing was that I had a new purpose, and I was full of excitement. My brain was re-activated, and I knew I still had tons of things to do and ideas to share.
Let’s start with the first one! “We can all change the world by the way we eat”.