A New Recipe
“Being healthy is more than just eating salads. You wake up and you realize there are so many things that effect who you are: your relationships, the way you think about yourself, the way you cook, the way you relate with your environment.”
Pamela Wasabi had been struggling with thyroid issues for years. When she became pregnant, her health worsened, and doctors told her that she would have no choice but to have her thyroid removed and to take pills indefinitely to treat her condition. According to her doctors, if she didn’t take these precautions, there was a chance she and her child wouldn’t make it. Pamela asked the doctors why this was her only option and was unable to receive a proper explanation. Feeling frustrated, Pamela took matters into her own hands to find an alternative way to address her health issue. In doing so, she changed her lifestyle completely, both physical and emotional components, from what she cooked to the way she thought. “I found alignment and balance and that’s what helped me into a path of wellbeing.” Within a short amount of time, Pamela was back to being healthy.
A Bakery is Born
Inspired by her newfound lifestyle and its invaluable benefits, Pamela wanted to share her discoveries with others. Before she became sick, Pamela had never thought that much about cooking, yet her journey to health had brought food into her life as more than just a meal, but as a means of holistic nourishment. She worked as a private chef for a while, but the hours were exhausting and left her with little time to spend with her young child. She knew she needed a transition, which is when she started AMLA MIAMI, a plant-based and gluten-free bakery in Miami. “This business was born out of a need to expand and to go to the next chapter by doing something I’m good at which is cooking.” Pamela created a menu of items and began knocking on local businesses’ doors. Soon enough, people began showing an interest.
Pamela needed capital to help her expand her business. She discovered Accion through her bank, Bank of the Ozarks, where she was approved for a loan. “The experience of working with Accion was awesome, particularly the excitement they showed in my progress and in my business. I just really felt that support from them.” Pamela used the loan to hire two full-time employees and buy a van to make deliveries.
Eating More Beauty
Today, Celestial Chunk Cookie, Hummingbird Mango Muffin, and Lavender Heaven Cookie are only a few of the atypically named pastries offered at 65 locations throughout Miami-Dade and Broward. While her treats are all delicious, Pamela provides more than just a product to her customers, but a new perspective. Using the motto “Eat More Beauty,” Pamela uses only organic and high-quality ingredients as well as sustainable, eco-friendly packaging. In addition to her bakery, Pamela also teaches classes and recently wrote a book titled Nourished: The Plant-based Path to Health and Happiness. She plans to continue focusing on the educational aspects of her business and to stay true to its social mission. “What I do is much more than just about food, it’s about reconnecting with what nature has to offer.”