We had the good fortune of connecting with Rolan Pongpuntara and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rolan, how has your pespective on work-life balance evolved over time?
The end of 2017 brought about some of the biggest changes in my life. These changes were an incredible blessing in disguise because it was through this experience that I began to love myself again. At the time, I was running a restaurant and working nonstop, seven days a week, with no time to invest in any other relationships – not even with myself. I finally began working on myself during the summer of 2017 when I realized I had completely lost sight of any sort of balance in my life. I left everything behind to pursue a lifestyle where I would be able to have a healthier work life balance. After much meditation, I landed on the name “Side Kitch.” While I was starting Side Kitch, I didn’t know what direction I was heading towards. But I believed that the universe had my back and would guide me to the right place. As I took the time to open my business, I also took the time to invest deeper within myself. I studied and became certified in Reiki levels 1 and 2, as well as Breathwork levels 1,2,3 and 4. It was a very uncomfortable process that unearthed a lot. But I’m grateful I went through this experience. I was able to focus on my health and well-being while starting a business from scratch. Today, I run two successful businesses, work five days a week, and prioritize time to take care of myself. I am now able to empower people to live their lives to their fullest potential. I believe food is healing; however, I believe diet is not the answer in and of itself. When you heal yourself mentally and emotionally, you crave the right food. Through this experience, I know firsthand that it is only through this balance that we are able to lead fulfilled lives.

How does your business help the community or the world?
During this tough time, I have raised money to frontline healthcare workers all over Los Angeles.  Having lived in LA my entire life, I know our community has very different days, experiences, and workloads. My food empowers you to balance yourself. To live your life without restrictions. When you take the time to heal within yourself, you crave healthy foods.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The name Side Kitch came to me after weeks of thought and meditation. With years of experience in nutrition, wellness, and running a kitchen, I wanted to heal people through food. When I’m in the kitchen, I focus on putting ingredients together that will benefit an individual. As a caterer, I offer a wide variety of diets and cuisines and my vision is to provide food that is not only delicious but makes people feel good too. I’m very proud of empowering people to eat through no restriction but feel nourished and whole at the same time. This is what set Side Kitch apart to nourished our clients with our love and energy in each and every dish. It was a long journey getting where I am today, The truth is, nothing worth having is ever easy, and all the best things in life are the result of hard work and overcoming hardships. Ultimately, that’s what makes it all worth the struggle. I’ve come a long way since 2013. I had started a small juicery and was juicing from home and personally driving all over LA delivering to all my friends and family. In 2014, I opened a kitchen from scratch, turning a dry cleaner into a restaurant in the heart of Santa Monica. In 2017, I decided I wanted a new life so I venture off and starting Side Kitch. Every part of these experiences came challenges. The challenges that I encountered throughout my whole experiences are: 1. How to have work, life, balance? 2. How to combined healing and food? 3. How to have thriving business without losing myself? 4. How to have boundaries and healthy relationships? Overcoming those challenges was hard but it shaped me to who I am today.

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Being born and raised in Los Angeles, I would take my best friend to 1. Manhattan beach 2. Hike: Runyon Canyon Park 3. Brunch at Elephante 4. Dinner at Tar and Roses 5. A walk down Abbot Kinney Boulevard 6. Dessert: Salt and Straw 7. Shop at Westfield Century City 8. Wi Spa in K-Town

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Jane jetabut janej@bestfriends.org Bikram walia Marlize Joubert (marlizeJoubert.com)

Website: Sidekitch.com
Instagram: Sidekitch
Linkedin: http://linkedin.com/in/rolan-pongpuntara-0450411a4
Yelp: Sidekitch

Image Credits
Rey Trajano