By Jessica Webba
FOR Julia Panchkowry, a 33-year-old yoga teacher with a passion for all things nourishing, it all started with a phone call she got from a friend. As a primary school teacher in London, Julia always felt a desire to experiment and try something new. So, when her friend told her about a teaching position at an International School in Bangkok, she found herself uprooting from west London to the Land of Smiles in less than a week.
“It was unreal. One day I had an interview, the next day I got the job, and in three days I found myself living in Bangkok. It all fell on my lap like it was meant to happen,” she said. Julia has been living in Bangkok for three years and is embarking upon the establishment of her brand, The Banana Warrior, that sells deliciously nutritious Vegan banana bread all over Bangkok.
Struggling to find a balance between her job as a Library Drama teacher by day and managing her own business and yoga classes by night, Julia recently decided to dedicate herself entirely to her business. “It has been super busy juggling between yoga, teaching and baking, and one day I just felt like I had to give up something. I thought, my business is my dream, and it is happening, so I have to give up teaching.” She said it felt like the universe was trying to tell her something and with a smile that goes from one ear to another, she talked about how exciting everything feels: “I can’t believe, and I still pinch myself. I am very excited and ready to go big. I have never been busier in my entire life, but I am also really happy and thrilled about what’s coming. I am now full-time Banana Warrior”.
The banana bread was born after Julia went to a yoga studio and felt like something was missing. “I thought about how nice it would be if there were any healthy snacks to give you a boost of energy. After that, I went home and realised, my banana bread would be quite good there,” she said. Julia experimented with a variety of flavours and by the end of the week, they started selling it. “It was amazing like the wheel was in motion and it all just took off. Banana bread is the one thing that you can make healthily and sustainably without losing any flavour and people love it”, Julia said.
Julia has big dreams and doesn’t plan to stop any time soon. “The dream is to write my cookbook and have my yoga studio with a café selling all of the Banana Warrior products. It would be incredible if in the long term I could start another branch in London or somewhere in Asia.” But for the next years, she is planning to stay. “This city has really good energy. It is very rich, vibrant, and full of amazing experiences. If you let it be, the energy is quite electric. I will never regret my decision to move here,” she said.
Julia is constantly working on evolving her brand and creating different flavours for the banana bread, and if your mouth is watering just from reading this, head to @the.banana.warrior Instagram for a list of places where you can get her delicious products.