By OKKI KLIJN
The smell of incense fills the air of a vibrant home on the outskirts of Caloundra where a colourful hammock is swinging in the wind. A veggie patch runs along the house and there are numerous boho-style decorations hanging around, all contributing to the relaxed atmosphere that inhabits the place. Vintage furniture and coastal colours theme the living room. A rustic home for a Rustic Mumma.
Kylie Stapleton wanders barefoot around her kitchen with a vivid aqua sarong wrapped around her waist and bright blue butterfly earrings swinging from her ears. Her kitchen’s cupboards are packed with jars of healthy ingredients and her fridge is overflowing with natural supplements. Her home has organic written all over it.
For 39-year-old Kylie, cooking has always been a passion. She contentedly spends her days producing exotic, organic and nutritious recipes. Not many people can claim to be a professional cooking enthusiast – the condition is a rare one.
Yet, while it is rare, some people genuinely love the idea of passing hours in the kitchen whipping up new concoctions. Only five months ago, Kylie decided to turn her rare passion of creative cooking into a full-time hobby that she is now in the process of developing into a business: Rustic Mumma.
As a mum of two, this Rustic Mumma understands more than anyone how (almost) impossible it can be to find the time to experiment with healthy recipes and provide the family with organic meals every day. Get the kids to school on time, take them to sports practice, bring them home, sit them down to do homework and keep the house under control. Who has time to grow their own vegetables and make nutritious meals every night of the week?
The difference for Kylie is that she has no choice: she has spent most of her life suffering from various intolerances that restrict her diet to specific organic health foods. Intolerances make life so much more difficult: buying groceries and eating out are no longer simple habits.
“I have had to learn the different textures and flavours I can create using what I have and now I have the ability to share that with so many other people,” she says.
Kylie says she understands how debilitating allergies can be and knows she isn’t alone in her situation.
“I feel like I was given this problem to help other people … my allergies have forced me to become so creative with what I make, and I’ve had to find easy ways to provide my family with tasty organic meals,” she says.
Rustic Mumma has taken off and Kylie has been overwhelmed with the feedback she has received. Her Rustic Mumma Facebook page continues to attract people across the Sunshine Coast and her schedule is packed with “cook-ups” for different occasions.
“I get asked to cater for events, do meal preparations for families with food allergies,” she says. “I’ve been so busy with it; I definitely didn’t expect Rustic Mumma to do so well.”
Kylie had never really considered turning her passion into her career. It was when she started to realise she wasn’t using her talents that something woke inside of her. She started to realise it was time to do something for herself.
“One day I just realised I didn’t want to work for anyone else anymore,” she says. “I’ve always been such a workaholic and told myself it was time to start putting energy into achieving my own goals … not someone else’s.”
As Rustic Mumma, Kylie lives by the phrase ‘farm to table’. People invite her into their homes for the day to cook up the healthiest and most organic versions of meals possible. Rustic Mumma brings her utensils, her unique recipes and her strong, good-humoured personality and takes over the kitchen for the day.
“I cater mostly for business owners or mums who just don’t have the time to be spending hours in the kitchen making these organic meals. I make food to last them for weeks – they just freeze what’s left over,” she says.
She grows her own ingredients, then takes them to cater for anyone that reaches out to her. Everything she “whips up” is wholesome, made up of only the freshest of fresh ingredients. Food intolerances are becoming more and more relevant in today’s society and Kylie’s allergies along with her passion for cooking allows her to design endless nutritious recipes that are suitable for people in a similar situation to her. Intolerances can be passed on from birth or can appear develop at any point in time, and it’s vital to listen to how the body responds to different products.
Rustic Mumma has been a huge break-through in a niche market and Kylie’s striking eyes sparkle with excitement as she talks about this new chapter of her life.
“I am honestly so much happier now that I’m doing something that I love…,” she says before taking a moment to think.
“Why aren’t we all running like hell towards our dreams?”