Say Hello To Livia's!
by Maddy de Winter, 30th October 2019
We were very lucky to have Olivia Wollenberg, founder and CEO of Livia's (formerly known as Livia's Kitchen) join us in the Candy Kittens' office on Monday! We chatted all things Livia's and learnt about her story as well as her brand's highs and lows. Olivia told us her inspiration behind Livia's and how she went about achieving her dream. We loved hearing her story and all felt so inspired by her progress!
Olivia had been studying Neuroscience at UCL and was planning on doing a PHD to pursue a career in Neuroscience. However after studying, Olivia was diagnosed with a long list of severe food intolerances, leaving her craving all treats that she could no longer eat (naturally). When Olivia looked for alternatives that fit her new dietary needs she couldn't find anything that tasted as good as what she was used to or anything that actually felt indulgent and satisfied her. She noticed a gap in the UK market for this, opted for a career change and made it her absolute mission to launch a delicious, natural, free-from snacking range.
To start the production process Olivia took over her parent's kitchen (where the name 'Livia's Kitchen' was born) in 2014 and started manufacturing her first ever product herself, the Superfood Crumbles. The crumbles were stocked in Selfridges (which she was super proud of) and Olivia continued to make her sweet treats in this manner for the next 2 years. Pretty crazy right!?
Olivia's mission to create delicious, indulgent and healthy snacking took off, and her business began to grow. She recruited some extra hands to help her out and expanded into her Sister's bedroom and Parents' living room! Now not only was Olivia's parents' kitchen a manufacturing station, but her sister's bedroom was now storage and the living room an office. Can you imagine the sight!?
Initially, Olivia received a lot of pushback on whether there was a need for her product in the market. But she knew in her heart that there was due to her own dietary needs and the rise of veganism and similar trends in the US. Olivia stuck by her product, that she was so passionate about, and knew that these trends would eventually be reflected in the UK - and she couldn't be more right!
With the team expanding and Livia's being a massive hit, Olivia decided to move her team out of her parents' kitchen and find an office space with a sizeable kitchen to come up with delicious and innovative new treats! She now has an amazing team which saves her from doing all aspects of the business (which she was solely juggling when she first started)!
Now Olivia likes to focus her time in the office kitchen coming up with new product development ideas, this is where she is most happy! Her high from the business she experiences everyday when walking into her office and knowing that Livia's is hers and all of her hard work has paid off, a massive 'pinch me' moment!
We absolutely loved having Olivia in the office, and it was also a great excuse to be able to eat her delicious sweet treats at 10am in the morning (you guys won't judge right...👀)! We can confirm that here at CKHQ we're big fans of Livia's, and if you don't know about the brand already - get to know!