Power Women By Kiss My: Janah Van Cleven

POWER WOMEN

We are convinced that passion encourages passion. For years our grandparents have been getting the best out of nature and each other. Through some questions we try to give you insights on the strong women, whom next to their other half color the world just that little brighter.

 

JANAH VAN CLEVEN

Janah Van Cleven was until recently running the inspired but temporary Bar, Palo Cortado, together with her husband Ran Van Ongevalle. Tonight (8 June 2020) they are opening Bar Ran. A place int the pittoresk city of Bruges where their and hopefully the dreams of their customers will be fulfilled. (cfr. The facebook page of Ran)

 

 

 

1.Do you consider yourself to be a powerful women?

Yes I do. When I was 18 I left just with a backpack in search for adventure and with a lot of motivation to do volunteer work in Eastern Africa. Two years ago, me and that same backpack travelled around the world for almost a full year. I’m not really a materialist and I don’t need much. I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty. Our bar was transformed mostly by my own hands. I love that kind of ‘hands on ‘ women. Just keep on going without looking back.

 

2.What is the most satisfying thing about having your own business?

The independance. Despite the long days and stress that is involved, I love being my own boss. It just gives you a lot of satisfaction. I also love being an all-rounder. I would get bored easily if every day would be the same. I love the versatility of being an accountant, working behind the bar, serving tables, manage some side project, etc. I’m also very happy that we can do all this together. We are a great team and complete each other perfectly.

 

3.Kiss My… is about going your own way, against the stream. In which aspects is your stubborn side coming through?

I don’t know if what we do is against the stream, but what we do is going down our own path. This can sometimes be confusing for customers that are visiting us for the first time. We try to guide people as much as possible with their choice of drink. It often happens that quite some ingredients on the menu are things that people haven’t tasted yet. We try not to work too commercial in Bar Ran. I think this is something I inherited from my education as a teacher; working just out of the comfortzone. That way you learn something, and you get to discover new things. That is the balance we try to keep. Leaning to much to one side and the customer doesn’t understand the drink, leaning too much to the other side and we aren’t innovative anymore. But one thing is sure, taste always comes first. For every customer that comfort zone is different. It’s up to us to get to know the customers and to guide them.

Power Women By Kiss My: Janah Van Cleven

4.How do you keep yourself inspired?

By observing, tasting and listening. For example, our travels to Sevilla inspired me on what bites we want to serve. For the interior a lot of inspiration came from Pinterest. The visits to bars worldwide also gave us a lot of inspiration for the style and feel of the bar. I’m convinced that Ran and I also inspire each other. This in a way that we question one another and  the things that we do. Just to make sure we end up with the best version of ourselves.

 

5.As a mother to be, what good advice would you already like to give to your son?

Be kind to the people around you and the world. This maybe sounds a little corny, but I strongly believe that this is something you can extend in almost everything. Be good to nature and animals, show respect for all people, all nationalities, professions,… I would love that our son would be the kind of boy that helps an old lady crossing the street, or sees the beauty in the small things around him.

 

6.Which strong woman do you admire the most?

This is a really though question. I know a lot of strong women, all in their own way. We all have our burdens to bear. It’ s inspiring to see how the women in my life (my mom, sisters, friends, sisters in law, …) make it all work, solve problems, combine work and family,…

 

7.What are you most proud of?

My relationship. Ran and I are a good team in so many ways. We practically always have been working together, travelled together, saw each other almost every day, and don’t have that many arguments doing all that. We just get along and admire each other in what we do.

We also leave enough space to let each other grow. Last year Ran lived in London to learn, while I stayed in Belgium. I’m not an expert in relationships, but I think that what we do, we do well. That is  something that I’m proud of.

Power Women By Kiss My: Janah Van Cleven

8.Could you share something about your new project Bar Ran and how you left your mark?

Sure. Bar Ran is something we have been talking about, fantasized about and strived to for years. A new chapter in our adventure. The best way to describe the bar is the casualness of a typical Café in Bruges combined with the finesse of an international high end bar. The perfection in the drinks without all the fuzz. In my opinion you have to feel at home in bar, no matter what you are wearing or what time of the day it is. When that gets combined with a great tasteful drink, with the perfect temperature, qualitative ice, knowledge and love, you have no other option than being happy, don’t you? Actually we created the kind of bar where we would like to go every day.

 

9.Pulling the same cart is also giving each other the space to grow. What is your ultimate me-time?

Making Ceramics. I made my own studio and bought an oven. That is my creative outlet, the place where I can do my own thing apart from the world. I’ve followed an artistic training and I love to work with my hands. I combine burrowing in the clay with photography. Photographing finished pieces, or drinks in the bar, taking care of our social media,… I just can spend hours on that.

Power Women By Kiss My: Janah Van Cleven

Recipe

‘Family tree’

Combines 3 countries: Belgium, Haiti and Spain.

All three products have a great tradition.

Kiss My Nuts

Manzanilla and Rama Sherry

Clairins Sajous

 

Pairing

With Anchoa from Cantabria, we work with the Codessa, Oro series. Combined with some good olive oil, some pepper and chopped chives, fresh toasted bread, just pure heaven.

 

@bar.ran.brugge

Power Women By Kiss My: Janah Van Cleven