Having profiled several small businesses in the area, I recently sat down with Registered Holistic Nutritionist Karen Gilman of Nutrilicious. We chatted about her business, what motivates someone to start a small business, and the opportunities that the Yonge Lawrence Village provides.
Hi Karen. Can you start by telling us how you got started?
I’m what you would call a “healthy foodie.” For as long as I can remember, I have been food-conscious. Once my girls were older, I had a bit more time and wanted to raise consciousness among other moms who are also concerned about the choices they make for them and their families.
I started by getting a Diploma in Natural Nutrition. This provided me with the credibility to inform and educate those to whom I had, for years, just casually given tips and suggestions. Once I was certified, I turned my attention to getting Nutrilicious off the ground.
And here I am today. Nutrilicous is all about providing advice, educating, and instructing on how to prepare healthy and delicious meals.
What’s it like to run a small business?
In my case, I don’t have a store front, so getting the word out was initially my biggest challenge. I had to quickly look around to see what other sources were at my disposal. I thought about who I wanted to reach and turned to the community – where I discovered several possibilities.
The Fairlawn Community Centre is a great venue to advertise. Moms are there daily, dropping off or picking up their children from programs.
Schools were another great resource. I do workshops for parents and their kids. My last workshop, on Healthy Vegetarian eating and cooking, allowed moms and daughters to learn and cook together. I still get comments from moms that one of their kids’ favourite meals is one that we prepared together that night.
Recently, I started to partner with other small businesses in the Yonge Lawrence Village. You can currently find me at Fairlawn Physiotherapy.
What is the biggest misconception that people have about food and nutrition?
People often think that eating healthy involves restricting foods. That is not the purpose of Nutrilicous. It’s about examining what you eat, knowing what you are eating, and perhaps adding to or tweaking your meals. My goal is not to restrict people, but to provide them with information about what they’re eating – and give them recipes that are delicious and healthy.
As an added bonus…here is one of Karen’s great recipes!
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup spelt flour
3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup raisins or chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl combine oats, flour, coconut, cinnamon and salt
3. In a small bowl, combine together maple syrup, oil and vanilla.
4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until combined. Fold in the nuts and chocolate chips/raisins.
5. Using a tablespoon, form the batter into mounds and place onto cookie sheet. You may need to form them with your hands. Bake 15 minutes until lightly browned.
(Note: these cookies do not expand)
To learn more about this great small business in the Yonge Lawrence Village, please contact Karen Gilman at email@example.com.