Maialen Irigoyen carefully prepares every morning, together with the chef Alejo Portu, the different preparations that it offers to its customers during the day. But it is not a restaurant that this lesakatarra has just opened on Calle San Pedro de Irun, opposite the Dumboa ambulatory, but Janari, a prepared food shop.
-Maialen, have you had any previous experience in the world of cooking?
-No, my professional career has been linked to other worlds. But there came a point where I wanted to do something on my own. I’ve always loved cooking, I’ve been cooking since I was a child. And one day, out here, I saw a convenience store and I thought that’s what I wanted to do. Because besides the fact that I love it, I see that people don’t have time to cook. So one of the goals is that these people have the opportunity to eat various and quality things.
–You are from Lesaka, why did you choose Irun to start the business?
-It seemed to me that in the area of Bera and Lesaka the question was already covered. So, by proximity, I thought of Irun. There was already something to offer here, but it seemed to me that it might be fine.
-As for the city area, was it casual?
-No. I liked this area because it seemed quieter to me. So I looked directly for the locals here. A year ago I had an opportunity that didn’t work out in the end. So I ditched the idea for a while. But a few months ago I went down this street and saw this place closed. I decided to contact the owner and here I am (laughs).
-This place housed a coffee shop, did you have to do a lot of reforms?
-We have expanded the kitchen, because what was there was small. So we reduced the space in the shop, since we only need a window, and we gave the kitchen counters.
-Speak in the plural, do you have a partner?
-Well, since the people at home have helped me a lot and have always been there, I speak in the plural (laughs). The business is mine, but I have the help of Alejo Portu, who is a cook. He is in the kitchen and I am everywhere (laughs), both in the shop and helping him.
– How does Janari work?
–Every day we offer different dishes that can be eaten in bulk. We also have a menu that includes a first course, a second course, a dessert and bread. And as people demanded it, especially at night, we included the half menu option, which would be a main course, dessert and bread. On request, however, we offer two or three special menus and different dishes from the menu.
–What are those special menus made of?
–For example, one can be a fish pie, a filled crepe, half a portion of stuffed hake, half a portion of cheeks and a dessert.
-And in the letter, what can you find?
– It’s quite large. We have salads, peppers and stuffed puff pastry, vegetable stew, fish soup, different dishes of rice, paella, lasagna and fideuas, cod, baby squid, hake, chicken, lamb, tail, cheeks, suckling pig … And if anyone wanted something that is on the menu, you can request it and surely we can.
– How far in advance must orders be placed?
– Two or three days ago. They can be made either by phone (62311 62 65) or by e-mail, email@example.com. Even going through the shop, of course.
– Going back to the menu and the specials of the day, do they usually vary?
-That’s how. We try to have a little bit of everything: meat, fish, vegetables, pasta … even if there are things we have every day because they sell a lot, like stuffed hake, sutinta squid, Russian salad and soup fish.
– Do you have vegetarian options?
-Yes, we always try to have dishes suitable for vegetarians.
– Is the raw material you use for your processing local?
-Much! (Laughs). We have a lot of our products, because I have a farm where we raise chickens, calves … So, zero kilometer at full throttle (laughs).
– What about the vegetables?
–We usually harvest it in Bera and are reaching an agreement with a vegetable garden in Lesaka.
–I see you also offer other canned products and some drinks.
-Yes, we have Navarre preserves, Ezpeleta pate, Lesaka sagardo and Inurrieta wine.
–Janari has only been open for three weeks, how is people’s response?
– The truth is that very well. There are people who have already come more than once. And they’re happy, at least that’s what they tell us (laughs). At the moment, they are mostly adults, forty-five and older, more or less. I thought young people would be more encouraged, but for now that’s the way it is. Many nurses from the clinic are also arriving.
– Finally, what are the shop hours?
– Monday to Friday from 10:00 to 14:00 and from 18:00 to 20:00 And Saturdays from 10:00 to 14:00. We close on Sunday.