ABOUT US

Mama Gaia was founded in 2016 by Philipp and Cru von Holtzendorff-Fehling to share their passion and awareness for organic eating with the world. The pair was inspired to launch this company because of their family’s firsthand experience with the powerful effects and benefits of organic and plant based eating.

In 2010, Cru was diagnosed with chronic Lyme disease, an uncommon condition that is profoundly debilitating. In an effort to regain a normal lifestyle, she self-prescribed a diet change (among other lifestyle changes) to all organic and plant based foods. Soon after, their family noticed a remarkable difference in her health. Cru’s energy level and quality of life have continued to improve ever since. Through her experience, the family found that there was a lack of restaurants offering organic vegetarian and fast menu choices. The duo wanted to fill that gap with Mama Gaia and share their mission of cultivating a sustainable lifestyle through organic eating with the Memphis community. They soon found partners and investors to realize this endeavor.

A note from Philipp and Cru –

Let’s be honest, fitting healthy eating into our busy lifestyles can be challenging. As a family of four, we know firsthand just how challenging it is to find that balance. With a passion for making real, organic food accessible to everyone, we created Mama Gaia, a fast-casual dining experience offering only organic, vegetarian menu options at affordable prices.

We work tirelessly to bring healthy and freshly prepared organic food options to you – foods that not only better our bodies, but also better our world. Our menu items are handmade-to-order using organic ingredients – meaning they are neither genetically modified nor have they been exposed to chemicals, such as herbicides or pesticides. The best part is that Mama Gaia’s dishes are prepared fast so you can enjoy a meal that is good for you and move on with your day.

We invite you to join us in eating more organic, plant-based foods and less meat! We can’t wait for you to taste what Mama Gaia has to offer.

OUR MISSION

Our mission is to make real, organic food available to everyone by serving exclusively organic produce prepared fast and at affordable prices. We are 100 percent committed to supporting the environmental and health benefits of a more plant-based diet and to making the unavailable available.

For us this mission means being good stewards of the Earth, our employees, customers, partners and the community. It also means that all aspects of Mama Gaia are “green.” Our restaurant uses sustainable, environmentally friendly processes and only organic ingredients. As a Project Green Fork certified establishment and the only B Corporation certified restaurant in Tennessee and the Mid-South, we will not only abide by the highest standards, but we will make every effort to set them for our industry.

These are critical elements of Mama Gaia’s identity as an environmentally conscious company and for fulfilling our desire to make our world a better place. One individual can only do so much, but if those with a similar vision work together, real change can happen, which is what keeps us energized day in and day out at Mama Gaia.

OUR TEAM

Philipp von Holtzendorff-Fehling
Partner, CEO and Co-founder

A native of Germany, Philipp and his family moved to the United States in 2010. Philipp is an entrepreneur by heart and a conscious business leader at the same time. He loves to combine his passion for business management and marketing with his love for yoga, healthy living and the desire to help make the world a better place. In his mind, Mama Gaia first and foremost exists because it does good in a way that creates a win-win situation for all of its stakeholders, which Philipp likes to not only describe as customers, employees, partners, shareholders and suppliers, but also the community, animals and the planet.

Philipp has served in leadership positions for several companies throughout Seattle, Dallas and the Mid-South including T-Mobile, The Dallas Morning News, American Home Shield. Most recently, he served as Chief Marketing Officer for ServiceMaster. After years of working in the corporate arena, Philipp made the decision to turn his passion of healthy eating into a business venture, Mama Gaia. With the mission of serving dishes prepared with ingredients that are better for people and the planet.

Cru Peri von Holtzendorff-Fehling
Partner, Co-founder and Executive Chef

Classically trained in Germany, Cru’s mentor was Michelin Star winning and widely renowned Chef Armin Karrer. His influence permeated her unique skill set, impeccable standards and exquisite taste in a way that, coupled with her own creativity and respect for purity, shaped her in the idyllic leader for our kitchen.

Cru’s vision as a chef is truly an asset for the company, but it is her vision for life that makes her an irreplaceable resource. Her passion for cooking is matched only by her passion for helping others to live a holistically healthy, balanced and positive life, which she does through her coaching practice for clients all over the world. This is the passion that lives in the food and will live in the experience at each of our locations. She inspires the entire team daily with her message of real people, real food and real healthiness in mind and body.

Paul Stringer
Co-Founder and Partner

A marketing executive by training but an entrepreneur at heart, over the past 18 years Paul has owned and managed several businesses and has also worked at the leadership level for multi-national marketing firms servicing the world’s top brands.  Paul’s biggest professional passion is finding ideas that move people to take positive action.  On a personal level, he is most passionate about great food that does good! 

Paul spent his 20’s serving/managing in restaurants and taverns in Chicago and another decade of his professional career working with fast food and traditional restaurants as a marketing partner.  Though Philipp and Cru think he is just here for the food, he is deeply passionate about making a difference and knows Mama Gaia is part of a significant movement that demands better, real food be available to all.

Cy Washer
General Manager

Cy comes to Mama Gaia with a proven track record of success within Memphis’ food and hospitality industry. Over the years, the Tulane graduate has held various leadership positions for several eateries and clubs in the Mid-South including FedExForum’s Lexus Lounge, River Inn of Harbor Town, Spring Creek Ranch and Colonial Country Club. Most recently, he served as general manager of Alchemy Memphis where he handled all restaurant operations. Cy oversees day-to-day operations, including staffing, personnel development, standards and practices, guest services, sales and financial reporting.