On Monday evening I did my first Facebook live! It was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed answering all of your questions. The main theme of the Q&A was business, as I often get asked about how I got started with Livia’s Kitchen and what made me want to run my own company. From this, I thought I’d do a business Q&A series on the blog. This is part one, which starts from the very beginning back in the crumble days…
I had been studying Neuroscience for 5 years which I loved but in my last year of studying I began to question whether this was the right career for me for a number of reasons. At the same time as having these doubts, I was diagnosed with a number of food intolerances which meant I had to drastically change my diet. I really struggled with having to make these changes, mainly because the market was clearly lacking indulgent and delicious treats which were free from the ingredients I could no longer eat. I saw an opportunity and it just felt right to jump at it!
I had never really been very good at baking before, but because it was difficult for me to buy anything in shops, I had to make my own treats to satisfy my undying sweet cravings. I started to read some vegan blogs and got inspired by some recipes I found online. I was still living at home with my parents and so they became my guinea pigs. It was when I made my first superfood crumble that they got really excited, and then so did I. I quickly started making it for my friends and adapted the recipe to make other flavour variations. Everyone was obsessed with them. I knew my time was then and there so I didn’t try anything else. I was confident enough in the product to know it could do very well.
I developed all 4 flavours in a week. I had absolutely no idea how I was going to packaging them for stores, so I started investigating everything online. In the meantime, I started to drive across the whole of London with my Mum dropping samples at magazine offices. It was when Vogue office posted a photo of my crumbles saying they would be the next big thing that I felt I had true validation. I then sent screenshots of the vogue post to the Selfridges buyer until she finally agreed to give me 20 minutes of her time. I launched in Selfridges 2 months later!
You actually don’t need to go through that many procedures. You need to register a food business with your local council and then you can start trading. I then had to take some health and safety tests as did the girls who I employed to help me with the baking. We all had to have a certain level in order to handle the food.
I’m going to work my way through my most asked questions in chronological order but I would love to know if there were any specific business questions you wanted to know the answer to!! xx