Kate is the founder of KOJA – a health food brand that focusses on getting Aussies to eat REAL food, rather than oodles of processed stuff. Introducing the lovely Kate from KOJA x
- Please tell us a bit about yourself.
I’ve always had a passion for natural, holistic health and eating wholefoods is a big part of that.
Before starting KOJA I was working in the supplement industry and learnt a lot about the way synthetic supplements and vitamins are made. I think too many of us don’t realise that most supplements are highly processed, synthetic and packed full of additives that our bodies don’t need. I met so many Australians seeking a simple solution to better health, and wanted to create a real food alternative to supplements… so KOJA was born.
I launched KOJA just over 2 years ago.. and it’s been a big part of who I am ever since. The first 12 months were a whirlwind of setting up the business, everything from sourcing ingredients to creating a brand. My biggest focus with KOJA now is building a great team, and an amazing community of KOJA lovers. We’re launching new products in the coming months and bringing on new stores across Australia every week.
KOJA wouldn’t be where we are today without the support of my friends, family and our customers. Every time I visit a supermarket and see aisles filled with food products that don’t represent what I consider to be food I’m inspired to continue growing KOJA. I remind myself of my mission, to do whatever it takes to get Australians eating better food.
- What are your top cafes for breakfast in Melbourne?
I’m all for the classic poached eggs on sourdough with a side of avocado for weekend brunches, and of course good coffee! I love Giddiup in South Melbourne, as well as Miss Jackson in St Kilda. Waiting 30 minutes for a table is not how I like to spend my spare time on the weekends so I tend to steer clear of the latest trendy hot spots.
- Best spots to grab dinner in Melbourne?
If it’s a special occasion you’ll definitely find me at Melbourne’s best French restaurants: Bistro Vue on Little Collins Street, Chez Olivier on Greville St, or France Soir on Toorak Rd. For a weeknight meal, there’s a little restaurant which has recently opened on Inkerman St in St Kilda, Kwan’s Table. The food is vietnamese inspired, made fresh by a young and passionate chef- and the curries are delicious!
- When you’re at home, what’s your go-to snack?
A smoothie – ready in 2 mins and even when the fridge is empty I can always find something for a smoothie! I always top with with KOJA Chia & Coconut for some added protein to keep me full until meal time. I know it sounds like a plug but I really do eat KOJA most days.
- Best meal you’ve ever had?
Hard to choose one! I would have to say when I lived in Stockholm, my fiancé (now husband) took me to a restaurant called F12. It’s right on the water, like most of Stockholm is. I can remember the beautiful wines, light fish and an orange soufflé for dessert.
A meal is never about just the food, it’s always about the atmosphere and the experience.
- And, lastly, best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
p.s. Kate’s also given us the recipe for her favourite cacao smoothie bowl – check it out below.
Cacao Smoothie Bowl (with Fig and Hazelnut Breakfast Topper)
If ever there were a holy grail of all foods, it ought to be chocolate. Typically considered a dessert, that need not be the case when you use raw cacao powder, which is the healthier version of the more conventional cocoa powder commonly seen in cakes, desserts and cookies. However, unlike its typically unhealthy cousin, raw cacao powder is unrefined, contains no added sugars yet retains all the delicious chocolate-y taste! Raw cacao is a delicious addition to a smoothie bowl like the one below, which is perfect for breakfast, a morning snack, a 3pm pick-me-up or dessert, especially when topped with some KOJA Fig and Hazelnut Breakfast Topper!
1 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)
2 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder
2 tbsp pure maple syrup/rice malt syrup
KOJA Fig and Hazelnut Breakfast Topper
Raw cacao nibs
Pure-state peanut butter
- Peel and freeze your bananas overnight. Leave them whole and cut into smaller pieces in the morning (they’ll stick together and become fiddly in the freezer otherwise!).
- When you want to make your smoothie bowl, remove the bananas from the freezer and chop them up into pieces manageable for your blender. Put in the blender with the coconut milk, cacao powder and syrup of choice. Blend for a few minutes, or until well combined. If you prefer a thinner smoothie, simply add more coconut milk.
- Take a bowl and scoop/pour the smoothie out and then get creative with your toppings! Enjoy!!