Growing up I always desired to run my own business doing something I loved.
In 2011 that happened when the knowledge I had acquired on raw foods, the opportunity to have a stall at a local farmers market, and a friend offering the use of her commercial kitchen, combined to create Make it Raw.
It was a paper on environmentalism in my final semester at university that changed my perspective on the world and led to me moving to Auckland in 2009 for a change of scene and fresh employment. I had just graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of Canterbury. But instead of working in an office and using my degree, I found myself working in an organics store, managing a juice bar.
I began to meet many very interesting people, one of whom introduced me to the stimulating world of raw living food.
After a couple of months discussing raw foods and their benefits to human health with my colleagues and customers, I purchased my first dehydrator and started experimenting; taking the fruits of my labour into work for their critique.
Two weeks before the devastating earthquake of February 2011, my partner Max and I decided to move home to Christchurch, after he was offered a job as a graduate architect. I arrived back in the quake ravaged city, a week after the disaster. I had planned to seek a job in the hospitality industry but instead found myself doing a bit of volunteering and helping Max’s parents, who manage the Ohoka Farmers’ Market.
I started to make raw, organic crackers and energy balls for the market and since those beginnings have slowly increased my product range. There are now four Make it Raw crackers, each with unique flavour combinations (Rosemary and Almond, Sundried Tomato and Almond, Olive, and Buckwheat and Fruit), a cereal (Spiced Apple and Buckwheat Grawnola), raw chocolate bars (Fruit and Nut Dark Chocolate and Hazelnut Dark Chocolate), Triple Nut Banana Bar and an assortment of live treats that change from week to week at the markets, including energy balls, chocolate mousse tart, citrus slice, peppermint slice and chocolate orbs.
My products are made with mostly organic ingredients. I soak or sprout the ingredient as required (nuts, seeds and buckwheat) and always strictly control the temperature of the food, ensuring at no point the temperature rises above 46 degrees. This is to maintain condition of the nutrients, enzymes and vitamins of each of the ingredients.
I follow a ‘no label’ diet which generally means I enjoy a mostly wholefoods, partially raw, predominantly plant based life style that occasionally includes seafood and dairy.
My goal through Make it Raw and The Whole Health Crew is to encourage people to increase their consumption of raw and wholefoods and to showcase that it doesn’t have to be difficult and intimidating.