As more and more folks learn about the Regal Fig, we are always asked how we came up with our name. At the Regal Fig, we love our name! We are excited about the image it promotes and believe that it embodies what we stand for, what we hope to accomplish and it appears you do too! So in response to those who are curious and those who love our story, we thank you for your enthusiasm.
In July of 2009 I went to Kenya to visit a family friend. I had recently lost my job and was actively contemplating the purpose of my life, which I was certain was meant for things other than sitting in an office cubicle. Being largely risk adverse and somewhat of a homebody it was uncharacteristic of me to pack my bags on a whim and embark on such an adventure. From the moment I landed, I felt like I was home. Kenya, its breathtaking landscapes, majestic animals and beautiful people were truly awe inspiring.
One evening over dinner, after spending a day with a family of elephants, we watched a video documentary called “The Queen of Trees” produced for PBS. The amazing video documented the fig wasp and its extraordinary relationship with the Sycamore Fig known in Africa as the giant fig tree.
Other than being thoroughly amazed at the cinematography, I had been profoundly struck by the way the life of this one tree was intrinsically connected not only to the wasp but to the entire ecosystem spanning insects, monkeys, giraffes, elephants, humans and everything in between for its survival and theirs.
I returned home a changed person determined to figure out my purpose. Through a series of fortunate meetings, a less than satisfying job and a nutrition program, I was reminded of my passion for food and the way food has an amazing ability to heal and bring people together. I knew I could cook and enjoyed doing it for hours on end, but with no desire to own or run a restaurant, I hit on the idea of starting a business as a personal chef. Having grown up working at and going to farmers markets as part of normal grocery shopping I had for some time been committed to the idea of eating locally, seasonally and organic and saw value in offering this to others.
I was living in the Washington DC area at that time, surrounded by wonderful farm land with amazing fruit, vegetables, dairy and meats, and subsequently started a business with the intent to support the local economy and offer food that was both healthy and delicious. My business has changed and evolved since its inception, now rather than preparing food, I work with my clients to create a “diet” that nourishes all five senses enabling them to achieve health in its truest sense as defined by the World Health Organization as a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.
Because my Africa trip played such an important role in creating my new business venture and changed the course of my life, I wanted to find a way to incorporate that experience in a real and everyday way. Our image is of a tree, reminiscent of the Acacia, which can be seen throughout the Kenyan countryside. Trees are a symbol of life and fertility, of strength and beauty. The Fig tree has grown for thousands of years along river banks throughout the Middle East and Africa. The tree has a long stable root system with a strong trunk and the ability to sustain an entire ecosystem in good times and bad, its organic nature was absolutely the perfect metaphor for what I hope to accomplish. After batting around a series of names with friends and family, I decided on The Regal Fig Food Co. because fundamentally we are all about food and what it brings to our lives and those we love.
It is my hope that the services we offer nourish our clients in a way that enables them to achieve the life they want for themselves and those they care about.