Aucklanders Killin' It: Olivia Scott (The Raw Kitchen)
We sat down with Olivia Scott, the foodie goddess behind The Raw Kitchen, in the whirlwind of a week before her City Works Depot store opening.
Olivia'sRaw Kitchen journey began three years ago, a raw vegan convert and business student, she noticed the lifestyle had taken off in the US but was lacking momentum here. The lifestyle had had a huge impact on Olivia, describing herself as full of energy, refreshed and vivacious with a clear and conscious mind, "totally vibing off all wellness". She moved back to Auckland, working for fashion powerhouse RUBY, but six months in could not ignore the pull she felt and began studying nutrition.
The business was then launched on the side, initially just a gal with a Instagram (a theme we are seeing a lot of here at The Oh Nine!). Cakes turned into cafe items, and soon Olivia had her first ever store in Ponsonby and had single handily broadened the Auckland Raw Food community.
As a student on a budget, Olivia learnt first-hand the hardships of the industry with only a part time job for funding. She struggled with the tension of wanting to leap but knowing there could be significant loss, "There's always hurdles when you reach a point of wanting to grow but you have to put money in". But the leap paid off, with two more locations, a loyal raw foodie following and a best-selling cookbook.
A personal go-to for any gift occasion, the beautiful cookbook came to life at a launch for a book Olivia featured in. Unsure if it would be a go, Olivia approached the publishers, to be invited to their office and subsequently given four months to put it together. The next few weeks were a blur of testing, writing and photographing and the rest is pink and gold foil history.
A creative mind, Olivia designs each store herself, pulling inspiration from interior stores around town. From there she develops a theme, incorporating independent local businesses when she can such as Mark and Antonia, whose beautiful installation you'll see in the new store. The new ground base for the Raw Kitchen empire, the City Works store includes a commercial kitchen, specialty cake kitchen as well as serving the much loved coffee, smoothies, salads and breakfasts.
Most days start with a 6am Pilates class, followed by a coffee and a classic avo on toast whilst ticking off a to do list. A lot of baking, meetings and admin follows whilst the stored is manned by two of Olivia's employees. To aspiring business owners and dreamers alike, Olivia champions a positive attitude, open mind and continuously moving forwards. "Choose what you want to do and then go full steam ahead, don't doubt yourself or give up."
What is your go-to afternoon snack?
Either a Choc Chia Pudding or a slice of seed loaf (Midnight Bakers or Carters) with some avo and sauerkraut.
Fave item on the menu atm?
Probably the Strawberry and Rhubarb smoothie bowl, a new one at City Works!
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Love me a square or two of dark chocolate from Loving Earth.
Macs powder, immediate energy boost!
Ultimate smoothie recipe?
Allll the greens, mango, coconut and chia seeds.
The Raw Kitchen in 3 words?
Wholeness, happiness and health.
Catch Olivia doing her thaaaaang, and get yourself a (guilt-free) treat or two, at City Works Depot, 90 Wellesley Street - it's on the lower level.