Sarma Melngailis is an American-born businesswoman and chef who co-founded and owned Pure Food and Wine restaurant and One Lucky Duck Juice and Takeaway restaurant. Both were very popular in the country for their vegan raw food, located in the heart of New York City. Both restaurants closed in 2015 after all of the restaurant’s staff resigned together due to persistent underpayment.
Sarma gained even more publicity after she was arrested for fraud in 2016 and convicted in 2017. Sharma starred in the Netflix series Bad Vegan, based on her life and crimes, which was recently released worldwide.
Sarma Melngailis was born on September 10, 1972 in Newton, Massachusetts, USA, where she was raised by her family. Her interest in food culture was heightened because her mother was a professional chef.
Her father, on the other hand, worked as a physicist at MIT. Their names will not be disclosed. Growing up, Sarma attended Newton North High School. For higher education, she attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated in 1994 with a bachelor’s degree in economics.
She later went to the Wharton School to do a BS in Economics. She moved to New York City and worked at Bear Stearns until 1996. Shama then worked at Brain Capital in Boston, a private equity investment.
In 1998, she returned to New York City and began working at CIBC, another investment fund. She quit her job and entered the French Culinary Institute in New York. In 1999 she completed her studies.
Sarma Melngailis career
Sarma began her career with her then-boyfriend, Mathew Kenney, who is a chef, speaker, and author. Together they opened a commissary in 2001, but it closed in 2003. She later advised Jeffery Chodorow’s China Grill Management.
Sarma, along with Mathew and Jeffery, opened their first restaurant Pure Food and Wine in June 2004. This was New York’s first restaurant to only serve raw food. The location was in the Gramercy Park neighborhood of Manhattan.
The restaurant has been named in New York Magazine’s Top 100 Restaurants twice and has been included in Forbes’ list of New York All-Star Restaurants five years in a row.
In 2005, she launched One Lucky Duck Juice and Takeaway, which was more of a retail outlet attached to her first restaurant. At the same time, she opened the Oneluckyduck.com website. Where they sold everything from food ingredients to beauty and skin care products.
A second store opened in Chelsea, which ran from December 2009 to January 2015. In 2014, One Luck Duck opened km San Antonio, Texas, which was his first store outside of New York City.
In January 2015, the entire workforce of Pure Food and Wine, along with the workforce of one lucky duck, resigned from the union because Sarma Melngailis failed to pay their employees their fair wages.
This happened for the second time when her wages were withheld, the first time in June 2014. On February 8, 2015, Sarma spoke about this issue on her blog and apologized. But later her post was removed.
In an interview, she explained that the reason for the late wages is that she has debt and operating expenses that have given her a small profit.
She also mentioned that this resulted in her not being able to pay her rent. It was later revealed that she told her employees a different story, explaining that the changing banks were the reason for her withheld payments.
In April 2015, both their restaurants and One Lucky Duck website reopened, but the majority of the staff chose not to return. In 2015, the new staff left the restaurant again due to a similar issue, resulting in the restaurants being permanently closed.
Sarma Melngailis biography
|Real name||Sarma Melngailis|
|Date of birth||September 10, 1972|
|Age (as of 2022)||49 years|
|Place of birth||Newton, MA, USA|
|profession||Owner and co-founder of Pure Food|
|Height||in feet inches – 5′ 6” – in centimeters – 168 cm|
|Weight||in kilograms – 55kg – in pounds – 121 pounds|
|shoe size||7 (USA)|
Sarma Melngailis Family
|school||Newton North High School|
|University||University of Pennsylvania, French Culinary Institute|
|Who is her husband?||Anthony Strangis (m. 2012; div. 2018)|
Sarma is married to Anthony Strangis. He is also known as Shane Fox. The couple have very contentious lives due to his infamous arrest. She has a rescue dog named Leon who she adopted from Sean Casey Animal Rescue in Brooklyn. On May 12, 2016, the couple was arrested in Sevierville, Tennessee. Her crime was evading arrest warrants while Anthony was a wanted felon for grand larceny for his fraud schemes and for violating labor laws.
Sarma was also wanted for grand larceny, a scheme to commit fraud and labor law violations, and criminal tax evasion. On December 19, 2016, she was offered a plea deal by prosecutors, agreeing to serve 1-3 years in prison. In May 2017, she pleaded guilty to stealing more than $200,000 from an investor, along with fraud schemes and labor law violations, as well as criminal tax fraud charges. She served almost 4 months in prison and later filed for divorce from Anthony Strangis.
Sarma Melngailis net worth
Melngailis lives in Harlem where she has lived for 4 years. Sarma Melngailis has an estimated net worth of $1.5 million. Sarma has now sublet her apartment in Harlem and plans to move to a new city to work on her memoir.