Meet Kristina, Your Kompas Founder and San Francisco City Leader
Well I guess it’s about time to introduce myself. I’m Kristina, I founded Kompas in February of 2019 when I paired my passion for the plant-based lifestyle with my experience in building brands and user experiences. This lead me to develop a tool I felt was necessary for the progression of the plant-based movement. Having spent the last 8 years navigating restaurant menus to figure out what I can actually eat was one of the most difficult things to learn, but once I got it down I realized I could eat something at nearly every restaurant. This realization led me to start designing a simple user experience that would make it easy for people to see exactly what they can eat at every restaurant.
I hope to play a part in increasing the number of delicious, healthy, beautiful plant-based dishes offered in restaurants Worldwide. I aim to help those in food deserts and less fortunate areas gain access to these incredible foods. And ultimately, I wish to eliminate the suffering of innocent animals on Earth. I know in my heart and soul that this is what I was put on this Earth to do, and I cannot wait to get this into your hands as we make more of an effort to make the World a better place through plant-based food.
How long have I been plant-based?
My New Years resolution for 2011 was to become completely vegan, and I’ve stuck with it for the last 8 years.
What made me commit to a plant-based lifestyle?
I was massaging my dog Bubbah’s leg one day when I thought Weird, this is the same body part I eat from a different animal… and I immediately dove into research on a vegan diet. I started watching documentaries (Food Inc., Food Matters, and Forks Over Knives), I watched the heartbreaking, unfathomable footage from slaughterhouses that will never escape my mind; while it’s hard to stomach, it’s the most impactful thing that drives me every single day to make the World a better place. I then began researching studies on a vegan diet and quickly discovered just how important it was for me to make the switch not only for animals, but for the health of our planet and my personal health as well.
What was the most difficult part on my journey to becoming plant-based?
CHEESE. I was addicted to cheese. I love cheese pizza, cheese platters, mac & cheese, cheesecake, you name it. I went cold turkey and definitely experienced withdrawals, but quickly realized how much better I felt after not being weighed down by dairy products. Fortunately there have been significant improvements in the plant-based cheese offerings since, thanks to companies like Miyoko’s Creamery, Violife, and many more.
What am I most looking forward to in the plant-based market?
I can’t wait for every single restaurant to have several amazing plant-based options so that every individual is exposed to the incredible world of plant-based food that tastes, looks, smells, and feels just as satisfying as a traditional meat & dairy based meal.
Which innovations in the plant-based industry interest me most?
CHEESE. While there are some awesome options out there for meltable cheese, there is a huge opportunity for someone to change the game with plant-based cheese. I’m talking aged cheddar style cheeses with a thick consistency and a creamy taste - whoever cracks this code is going to be incredibly successful.
Who is the most inspirational plant-based person in my life?
There are so many! Definitely all of our incredible City Leaders, who make all of this possible with their wealth of knowledge and experience in the plant-based World. I love that there are so many powerful people who are pouring their hearts, souls, and brains into this movement. I appreciate my family who have all committed to this wonderful lifestyle and proudly advocate for the plant-based movement.
Which plant-based product(s) can I not live without?
Follow Your Heart Ranch. I put it on my pizza, buffalo cauliflower, salad, taquitos, drink it by the glass, bathe in it.
What are my favorite plant-based recipe sites or accounts?
What is my best advice for someone who wants to commit to a plant-based lifestyle?
Do your research. There’s no one way to becoming plant-based. Don’t be hard on yourself, and if you slip up, it doesn’t mean you can’t start over. Just keep learning what works for you and always remember that any bit helps for our planet and all it’s inhabitants.
Dream day of plant-based food from anywhere in the World
Sausage, Egg & Cheese Muffin from Plant Power Fast Food
Multiple locations in Southern California
Chinese Chicken Salad from Blue Barn *replace the chicken with avocado*
Multiple locations in San Francisco, CA
Steamed Tempeh Buns, Sushi, Noodles, and Bibimbap at Departure
Raw Cashew Cheesecake from Rawdacious
Top 10 Local Spots for Plant-Based Eats in San Francisco
This 100% plant-based restaurant creates some of the most divine, authentic Mexican dishes. Don’t leave without trying the Coliflor Frito, and if you’re a fan of mole - this is your spot.
If you’re looking for a beautiful spot to celebrate a special occasion or trying to impress a vegan, head to Greens. This vegetarian restaurant has been around for over 25 years and creates some of the most fresh and flavorful plant-based food using ingredients directly from local farms. Most of their offerings can be made vegan upon request.
Massive salads are packed with fresh ingredients and you can generally split one into two meals. Nearly all of their dressings are vegan (with the exclusion of their dairy based dressings: Ranch, Bleu Cheese) and they’re happy to switch out meat for avocado and eliminate any dairy products.
Bowls, salads, vegan baked goods, and really great coffee in a cute neighborhood cafe.
Simple, flavorful, delicious Mexican food. Soyrizo burritos, Tofu Mole Plates, and fajita tacos. You must try their homemade salsas!
Authentic Indian food and excellent cocktails in a beautiful space make this the perfect spot for special occasions.
Delicious Thai cuisine with several plant-based options and excellent cocktails.
Fresh Roman style pizza with vegan cheese & vegan sausage, and plenty of other veggie toppings. Just don’t forget the calabrese peppers 🌶
Hummus (obviously) and some incredible Israeli falafel, veggie kabobs, fresh fluffy pita and delectable sides. If you like it spicy, be sure to add their red harissa sauce and green chile sauce!
Honorable Mentions: A-16, Amber India, Nourish Cafe, Mister Jiu’s, Flores, Delarosa, Tacolicious, Glaze, and Wooden Spoon.
There aren’t enough words to express the gratitude I have for each and every person who has inspired, encouraged, and supported me on this journey. Being a solo founder can be lonely and terrifying, but having so many incredible individuals to lean on makes me feel like I have the best team in the World. I cannot wait for each and every person to have access to our app and feel empowered to make positive decisions for their personal health and the health of our planet.
I welcome any and all feedback - positive, negative, or otherwise - and especially puppy cuddles 🐶
What are some ways you’d like to see Kompas improve? We’d love to hear from you!