Burlington mother-daughter team has a taste of healthy eating

News Mar 15, 2014 by Steve Arnold The Hamilton Spectator

BURLINGTON It's four in the morning on Saturday and Kelly Childs is already at work grinding up flower petals and squeezing juice from beets to make a new batch of her red velvet cupcakes.

There's nothing chemical or artificial in her creations — in fact, everything in Kelly's XO Bake Shoppe is organic, gluten free and totally vegan. People come from as far away as Ottawa for a dozen cupcakes.

That's a pretty good reputation after only four years in business, but now that her daughter Erinn Weatherbie has joined the company the team is thinking about some serious expansion.

"I think it's just terrible the way people's bodies have been broken down by the 'fast food nation,'" Childs said. "I think we've nailed a pretty health niche right here."

Childs and Weatherbie operate two businesses in the core of Burlington – Lettuce Love Café opened in 2010 as Kindfood (as in 'be kind to your body') followed by Kelly's XO Bake Shoppe in 2012 when Childs found she needed more baking space to keep up with demand for her delicacies.

Weatherbie joined the enterprise when she graduated from McMaster University with a degree in labour studies.

Both women are committed to a lifestyle of healthy eating — no gluten, no animal products, no bad cholesterol, no peanuts, no artificial colours or flavours. There's nothing on their dinner plates, in fact, that didn't come intact from the ground.

"The old saying 'you are what you eat' rings very true for us," Childs said. "Over the last couple of decades, we've really become an unhealthy society due to much of the food we eat. We couldn't sit back and watch it any longer."

Weatherbie explains the passion was ignited when they switched their own diets years ago.

"We both decided to go vegetarian and we felt a real change," she said. "My mom was the catalyst in me developing a passion for healthy living and healthy food, now we own our own businesses and get to work together every day."

It's just good luck they're able to turn that passion into thriving businesses around the corner from each other — the bakery is on Brant Street across from Burlington City Hall, while the café is just around the corner on John Street.

While working with family is often a danger, this mother-daughter team have avoided those problems with a clear division of labour — Weatherbie runs the restaurants while Childs keeps to the kitchen and creates.

Childs and Weatherbie staked out their corner of the food business just as consumer trends brought a growing number of customers into the market.

A 2011 study for the federal agriculture department, for example, found a rapidly growing market for food in the "better for you" classification that includes low-fat and cholesterol foods, low salt and sugar products, whole-grain, high-fibre, and portion-controlled products.

The study also concluded the days of organic food being a small niche market are gone, replaced by a $27.1 billion US global enterprise predicted to grow by 33 per cent by 2015. The sector has become so popular mass production is supplying growing demand and even large companies are introducing organic versions of popular products.

Childs and Weatherbie have their own plans for cashing in on those trends. There's talk of opening new locations in Toronto and Hamilton followed by a franchise system,

"We see another store of our own in Toronto because there's a huge market there," Childs said. "I think we could do three or four locations in Hamilton as well because we're already getting half of our business from there."

So far those ideas are only ideas, but the team think they're worth pursuing. There's also a healthy living book in progress, a blog to maintain and time in the kitchen to create.

sarnold@thespec.com

905-526-3496 | @arnoldatTheSpec

Burlington mother-daughter team has a taste of healthy eating

News Mar 15, 2014 by Steve Arnold The Hamilton Spectator

BURLINGTON It's four in the morning on Saturday and Kelly Childs is already at work grinding up flower petals and squeezing juice from beets to make a new batch of her red velvet cupcakes.

There's nothing chemical or artificial in her creations — in fact, everything in Kelly's XO Bake Shoppe is organic, gluten free and totally vegan. People come from as far away as Ottawa for a dozen cupcakes.

That's a pretty good reputation after only four years in business, but now that her daughter Erinn Weatherbie has joined the company the team is thinking about some serious expansion.

"I think it's just terrible the way people's bodies have been broken down by the 'fast food nation,'" Childs said. "I think we've nailed a pretty health niche right here."

Childs and Weatherbie operate two businesses in the core of Burlington – Lettuce Love Café opened in 2010 as Kindfood (as in 'be kind to your body') followed by Kelly's XO Bake Shoppe in 2012 when Childs found she needed more baking space to keep up with demand for her delicacies.

Weatherbie joined the enterprise when she graduated from McMaster University with a degree in labour studies.

Both women are committed to a lifestyle of healthy eating — no gluten, no animal products, no bad cholesterol, no peanuts, no artificial colours or flavours. There's nothing on their dinner plates, in fact, that didn't come intact from the ground.

"The old saying 'you are what you eat' rings very true for us," Childs said. "Over the last couple of decades, we've really become an unhealthy society due to much of the food we eat. We couldn't sit back and watch it any longer."

Weatherbie explains the passion was ignited when they switched their own diets years ago.

"We both decided to go vegetarian and we felt a real change," she said. "My mom was the catalyst in me developing a passion for healthy living and healthy food, now we own our own businesses and get to work together every day."

It's just good luck they're able to turn that passion into thriving businesses around the corner from each other — the bakery is on Brant Street across from Burlington City Hall, while the café is just around the corner on John Street.

While working with family is often a danger, this mother-daughter team have avoided those problems with a clear division of labour — Weatherbie runs the restaurants while Childs keeps to the kitchen and creates.

Childs and Weatherbie staked out their corner of the food business just as consumer trends brought a growing number of customers into the market.

A 2011 study for the federal agriculture department, for example, found a rapidly growing market for food in the "better for you" classification that includes low-fat and cholesterol foods, low salt and sugar products, whole-grain, high-fibre, and portion-controlled products.

The study also concluded the days of organic food being a small niche market are gone, replaced by a $27.1 billion US global enterprise predicted to grow by 33 per cent by 2015. The sector has become so popular mass production is supplying growing demand and even large companies are introducing organic versions of popular products.

Childs and Weatherbie have their own plans for cashing in on those trends. There's talk of opening new locations in Toronto and Hamilton followed by a franchise system,

"We see another store of our own in Toronto because there's a huge market there," Childs said. "I think we could do three or four locations in Hamilton as well because we're already getting half of our business from there."

So far those ideas are only ideas, but the team think they're worth pursuing. There's also a healthy living book in progress, a blog to maintain and time in the kitchen to create.

sarnold@thespec.com

905-526-3496 | @arnoldatTheSpec

Burlington mother-daughter team has a taste of healthy eating

News Mar 15, 2014 by Steve Arnold The Hamilton Spectator

BURLINGTON It's four in the morning on Saturday and Kelly Childs is already at work grinding up flower petals and squeezing juice from beets to make a new batch of her red velvet cupcakes.

There's nothing chemical or artificial in her creations — in fact, everything in Kelly's XO Bake Shoppe is organic, gluten free and totally vegan. People come from as far away as Ottawa for a dozen cupcakes.

That's a pretty good reputation after only four years in business, but now that her daughter Erinn Weatherbie has joined the company the team is thinking about some serious expansion.

"I think it's just terrible the way people's bodies have been broken down by the 'fast food nation,'" Childs said. "I think we've nailed a pretty health niche right here."

Childs and Weatherbie operate two businesses in the core of Burlington – Lettuce Love Café opened in 2010 as Kindfood (as in 'be kind to your body') followed by Kelly's XO Bake Shoppe in 2012 when Childs found she needed more baking space to keep up with demand for her delicacies.

Weatherbie joined the enterprise when she graduated from McMaster University with a degree in labour studies.

Both women are committed to a lifestyle of healthy eating — no gluten, no animal products, no bad cholesterol, no peanuts, no artificial colours or flavours. There's nothing on their dinner plates, in fact, that didn't come intact from the ground.

"The old saying 'you are what you eat' rings very true for us," Childs said. "Over the last couple of decades, we've really become an unhealthy society due to much of the food we eat. We couldn't sit back and watch it any longer."

Weatherbie explains the passion was ignited when they switched their own diets years ago.

"We both decided to go vegetarian and we felt a real change," she said. "My mom was the catalyst in me developing a passion for healthy living and healthy food, now we own our own businesses and get to work together every day."

It's just good luck they're able to turn that passion into thriving businesses around the corner from each other — the bakery is on Brant Street across from Burlington City Hall, while the café is just around the corner on John Street.

While working with family is often a danger, this mother-daughter team have avoided those problems with a clear division of labour — Weatherbie runs the restaurants while Childs keeps to the kitchen and creates.

Childs and Weatherbie staked out their corner of the food business just as consumer trends brought a growing number of customers into the market.

A 2011 study for the federal agriculture department, for example, found a rapidly growing market for food in the "better for you" classification that includes low-fat and cholesterol foods, low salt and sugar products, whole-grain, high-fibre, and portion-controlled products.

The study also concluded the days of organic food being a small niche market are gone, replaced by a $27.1 billion US global enterprise predicted to grow by 33 per cent by 2015. The sector has become so popular mass production is supplying growing demand and even large companies are introducing organic versions of popular products.

Childs and Weatherbie have their own plans for cashing in on those trends. There's talk of opening new locations in Toronto and Hamilton followed by a franchise system,

"We see another store of our own in Toronto because there's a huge market there," Childs said. "I think we could do three or four locations in Hamilton as well because we're already getting half of our business from there."

So far those ideas are only ideas, but the team think they're worth pursuing. There's also a healthy living book in progress, a blog to maintain and time in the kitchen to create.

sarnold@thespec.com

905-526-3496 | @arnoldatTheSpec