THE LIVIA’S KITCHEN STORY
written by Founder Olivia Wollenberg

I want to welcome you all into my kitchen, my absolute favourite place in the world. I learnt how to cook in this kitchen and some of my happiest memories were made here. From being taught by my Mum how to make some of her favourite recipes, to baking cakes and dancing around with my two older sisters, this kitchen holds such a special place in my heart. I feel so lucky that I now own a company which is based around my happy place, and I hope it brings a lot of happiness to lots of you too!

I am a lover of all things sweet. When I was diagnosed with so many food intolerances in March 2014, without a doubt the hardest part of changing my diet was having to cut out sweet snacks and desserts. I used to love cupcakes with butter icing, jam doughnuts and gooey chocolate fudge cakes. Being intolerant to wheat and dairy meant I couldn’t go near those types of foods anymore. Removing these things from my diet was especially hard because I found that even when I went to health food shops or supermarkets to find gluten and dairy free products, they were normally always full of artificial preservatives and additives – all of which also make me really unwell.

It was around the time of having to change my whole diet that other parts of my life were also drastically changing. I had been studying neuroscience at UCL for 5 years and had planned on pursuing a career in academia. However, in my last year of studying, I started to think that perhaps there might be something else out there for me, and that I may be better suited to the world of business. I realised that nothing could be better than combining business with my love for cooking and my new passion of healthy eating and living. Deciding to leave neuroscience behind and to embark on a completely new career wasn’t an easy decision, but once I had decided to go with my idea I was immediately committed to it, and hugely excited by the prospects and lifestyle change. The challenge was on!

In June 2014, I decided to kick it all off with a range of deliciously nutritious crumbles. I then took this idea on an 8-week intensive business course at UCL in which I was taught the fundamentals of starting a business and where I had to pitch at the end of the course for funding. I won this competition, and with a grant of £12,000 I had the confidence and the resources to start pitching to big retailers, who not only loved the concept, but also the taste. Selfridges was the first store to ever sell Livia’s Kitchen Crumble and I am so pleased that now many more reputable retailers are selling them, with more in the pipeline!

The amazing response and uptake of Livia’s Crumble encouraged me to explore many other sweet, healthy options, and Livia’s Kitchen is the platform where this exploration will take place. I feel so passionately about doing this and sharing all my creations with you because after only 2 months of eliminating wheat, dairy and any refined foods from my diet I recognised that not only had I stopped suffering from stomach issues, but I felt so much stronger and healthier in myself. Livia’s Kitchen is here to share my love of healthy eating and to show that it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive and that it can be totally delicious. I feel so happy to have found a way to continue eating everything I love whilst feeling better than ever before. Life is sweet; eat it and love it.