Sarma Melngailis became a national celebrity in 2015, but this time the headlines were about her stealing from the same, rather than her business or reputation as the queen of vegan cuisine.
After all, she drained her restaurant’s funds for her then-partner Anthony Strangis, as detailed in Netflix documentary ‘Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives.,’ only to never see it again – he either gambled it away or spent it on unnecessary luxuries.
Apart from losing her two enterprises, the most challenging part for the Ivy League graduate was that others assumed she should’ve known better when she revealed the manipulation she’d gone through; it wasn’t easy for her.
But, for the time being, if you’re just curious about the once-famous restaurateur’s past and how she ended up in New York in the first place, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
What Ethnicity and Nationality Does Sarma Melngailis belong to?
Sarma Melngailis is a dual citizen as well as a Latvian-American who is highly proud of her history, as proven by both the series and her social media platforms. She was born on September 10, 1972, in Massachusetts, to John Melngailis and Susan Toye Jasse (who divorced when she was nine), and she grew up there, although it appears that she has always had a fondness for her home state.
Sarma’s paternal side appears to be the only one from whom she inherits Latvian ideas and traits, which makes sense given that her father was born in the country in 1939.
However, John, like the rest of his family, had to flee the lovely European country as a toddler in October 1944 to avoid Russia’s brutal conquest.
The Melngailis then spent a few years in refugee camps around Europe before finally landing in the United States of America in December 1949, where they settled in Western Pennsylvania.
Sarma has always been close to her entire family, especially her father, as mentioned in the Netflix original, so it’s not surprising that their own experiences may have influenced who she is today.
Ilze, Sarma’s older sister, has stated that John and Sarma are practically “cut from the same cloth,” implying that their personalities, morals, and dedication are inextricably linked.
In fact, despite having been raised in Newton, Massachusetts, and having pursued her professional goals in New York, the former restaurateur is just as Latvian as she is American.