We’re happiest when we’re sharing our food, our culture, our vibes, with others. And we couldn’t do that without every one of our Cava team members. It’s a fanaticism that can’t be faked – it’s a passion we just have to share.

So we’re going to start hearing straight from our team about how they savor life – not just while they’re on the clock at your go-to Cava location, but (perhaps even more importantly) while they’re off it.

Let’s dive right in. Today we’re hearing from, Sarela, our supply chain manager:

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Why food?

I grew up in Peru and moved to the US in high school. My family was always involved with farming. I grew up going to the field, going to the soil, seeing how things are planted, working with the field workers. It’s always been something that I’m interested in.

What is your job at Cava all about?

I handle everything that has to do with our sourcing – so that’s procurement, working with local partners, working with developer partnerships. I make sure that we have an efficient supply chain from the start to the finish – the whole flow of how we source our ingredients and decide on who we want to partner with.

How do you decide what farms or partners you want Cava to work with?

There are a few things. I think the economics of it is a big part – but it also has to be a company that Cava can grow with. We are a young company but we are always looking at the future, and someone who can keep up with the volumes that we need and who has the same mentality and the same concept of what to give to our customers is important. And transparency – I think that is also huge. I want to know everything about how a farm or producer makes what they’re selling us. That’s really important to us as a company.

Why is sourcing important to you?

There is a huge wave of people being more aware of what they’re putting into their bodies. The chemical breakdown of the nutrients that you put into your system is very important and I think it’s great that we can transmit that message to our customers and to our society. I am very aware of all the nutritional information for everything I’m eating – and I like being able to prioritize that with my job at Cava, too.

 

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How has your heritage informed your outlook on life?

There is definitely a difference in culture, coming from a South American country. I like the simplicity in Peru. You just live your life and don’t worry about little things. I think sometimes we get lost in our day-to-day activities and technology and being busy. I think enjoying nature is so important. In Peru, you can go hiking or you can go to the beach or you can go to the Andes – it’s more of a simple, slower life.

Why do you love to travel?

I love finding where people come from, what they do, what they’re about. I backpacked around Southeast Asia, went to Africa, and Europe. I’m still waiting to do the all-American road trip!

When I’m traveling, I like that I get to encounter people in their own natural habitats. When I went to China, I ate a scorpion because someone asked me if I wanted to try it. It was crunchy and I loved it! There isn’t really anything that I wouldn’t try – and I like getting to find out what people eat in their native countries.

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What do you like to do outside of work?

I like to run. I am actually training for the Marine Corps marathon coming up. It’s a personal time for me. It’s time to relax and time to stay active – I have lot of energy to kill. I also really love making smoothies – coming up with interesting fruit and vegetable combinations and thinking about the benefits of each ingredient.

What’s your go-to order at Cava?

That’s tough because I usually switch it up. I usually get two mini pitas, because I like the balance and being able to get so many different combinations. For one, I usually get half tzatziki and half harissa because it’s well-balanced and spicy. Then I get chicken, cucumber, cabbage slaw, and a little bit of vinaigrette. And then for the other pita I always try out something new. Oh, and the Watermelon Mint Juice, too.

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