Arapina was brought to life by Michaela Pontiki, a passionate vegan and free from baker in 2013. The granddaughter of a head chef and wine maker in New York, in the 1920’s, Michaela studied architecture and fashion design only to admit later on, by her own life choices that baking is her real passion.
Coming from a warm Mediterranean family, Michaela learned from a young age, that visiting the local markets for the freshest, finest ingredients and cooking at home for a big family is a social activity that expands way beyond the dinner table. Taught from her mother to always keep her guests happy, Michaela took those values around hospitality with her, when she opened her business later on.
Moving to London and finding it hard to find healthy delicacies full of flavour, when being vegan and gluten intolerant, Michaela decided to launch Arapina in 2013, with a goal to create exciting, playful tastes like no other! Drawn to natural, high-quality ingredients, innovative ideas and fresh, full-on flavours, Michaela turned her lifelong passion into a successful career. Starting with one food market, while still working in fashion, and a clear idea that free from should always be full of flavour, Michaela opened the doors of her first bakery in 2017, which led to an additional 2 premises, numerous markets and a vast portfolio of wholesale clients.
Today, Arapina is a national brand, recognised in the food industry for their lovingly handmade, vegan, vegetarian and free from products, sold to individuals as well as many food establishments across the UK.
And as for Michaela… apart from driving her business forward she is also a keen speaker about life and business and a mentor to many! In her spare time, you will find her taking long walks, meditating in parks, or talking to professionals from the industry. Their stories inspire her and she hopes that her story will inspire others. Afterall she is the living proof of what it takes to follow one’s dream!