The launch of Livia’s Crumble has been a complete whirlwind and today feels like the first time I have been able to take a deep breath in and reflect on the wonderful madness. It was only this time last year that I had recently graduated from my Masters in Paediatric Neuropsychology from UCL. I loved studying this academically stimulating subject as it gave me a scientific insight into how we all function. I had been determined to start a career within this profession, but this transpired to be far from an easy task. Having achieved good grades the whole way through my education and with not just one but two masters in the field of Neuroscience under my belt I thought it would at least guarantee me a foot in the door. How very wrong I was – application after application was met with disappointment after disappointment and the most frustrating part was that I did not know where I was going wrong. The empty abyss of unemployment lay before me and I began to feel extremely down.
Alongside this rather bleak landscape, I decided that I had had enough of my constant, tiresome tummy troubles. For years I have had horrible tummy aches after pretty much everything I ate, but being a massive lover of most food types, I was really reluctant to change my diet. However, it came to a point where these issues were too bad that I could no longer ignore them. I went to see a nutritionist for the very first time – and this completely changed the way I now look at every part of my diet. Before I had visited the nutrionist, I had a very basic understanding of what ‘healthy’ eating really comprised. I was suddenly amongst the huge wave of people who were trying to keep a gluten-free lifestyle, which meant that I was buying endless products from the free-from ranges in stores. What I came to learn in Spring of this year was that yes, these products may be gluten-free, but they are full of unnatural additives and chemicals to supplement the lack of gluten. I started to realise that these were some of the major contributors to my tummy problems, and really made me start thinking about what I was putting into my body. My eyes were opened up to a whole new way of life, I started to look at the ingredients of everything I bought. Eating mainly fresh foods, staying away from wheat, dairy and refined sugars – essentially keeping to ‘clean eating’ resulted in immediate benefits.
However, I massively struggled with keeping clean and satisfying my undeniably stubborn sweet tooth. When I was out and about suffereing from a real energy low in need of something sweet and yummy, the selection of treats I could eat was so limited. I felt that there was a big gap in the market for a super healthy, nutritious desert. I started baking… and baking… and after a bit more baking I had transformed my old favourite British Apple Crumble into a wheat, dairy and unrefined sugar free desert which satisfied my cravings for an indulgent treat. I spent many hours in my parent’s kitchen, experimenting with different flavours, working out ways of not just cutting out traditional ingredients in a crumble such as flour and butter, but how to add in superfoods to make it good for you, as opposed to just a dessert that is not so bad for you. I certainly fell in love with my crumble recipes, but what came as such a huge surprise was how much everyone else loved them. Before long I was being asked where my friends, and friends of friends could purchase them from.
I quickly realised I was on to something – and I got my self a place on a 8-week fast track business entrepreneur programme. These 8 intense weeks were invaluable, and built my confidence immensely. At the end of this course, I had to do a Dragon’s Den like pitch to investors, and I won!!! The prize was a grant and business mentorship, all which has been hugely integral in the building of my brand. In the space of 6 months, my passion for baking and my new desire for healthy and clean eating had turned into a viable business idea… and Livia’s Crumble was born. I thought I had known hard work with the intense academic courses I had completed, but nothing for me has ever compared to this. There is no such thing as a ‘working day’ in the crumble HQ. Days turn into nights, and there is hardly enough time to sleep. But how lucky am I! Selfridges was one of the first places to stock the crumbles just after having started trading, and I am aware that doesn’t happen to most people. The list of stockists is growing constantly, and my online site where you read this blog has recently gone live. This site has been designed to make crumble shopping easy. Want to stock up on crumbles for your week? Or order them to a friend for their birthday? You can do that easily right here! I hope that the limited edition Christmas Crumble will relieve so many people this Christmas when choosing gifts or desserts to make whilst entertaining. What better than a healthy festive treat?
Happy Friday everyone xxx