First Published @ Like Minds Create
What started off as a food blog has blossomed into a full on lifestyle destination. My Beach Kitchen epitomises the laid back bush meets beach vibe of Kelly Lowden and her family’s home in Jan Juc.
A stone’s throw away from the spectacular Great Ocean Road and surf hot spots of Wikipop and the world famous Bells Beach it’s hard to imagine a much more idyllic spot to raise a family and run a business.
Kelly says, luckily it was really non-negotiable. Her husband Carlo, a surfer, needs to be close to the water.
“Carlo worked for Quiksilver for a long time and then decided to go out on his own” she says, “obviously he wouldn’t live anywhere where there wasn’t surf, it’s not an option, he wouldn’t do Melbourne.
For Kelly that was really the driving force behind her venture My Beach Kitchen. What started as a food blog is now a polished and perfect collection of mouth-watering recipes accompanied by stunning pics of her family and friends alongside beach inspired homewares.
“I guess essentially we had to create a life that would pay it’s way here.” Kelly explains “It gives you a lot of freedom. If you want to go away and make it a long weekend you can be mobile with your laptop these days and be your own boss. But when you’ve got three kids and a mortgage and a dog not having that regular income is a challenge. You’re constantly having to come up with the next idea and the next new thing.”
But she says, it’s worth it.
“We’re really lucky to live here and be able to do what we’re doing here. I feel pretty blessed that I’m not having to travel to Melbourne every day. That we’ve established a business here by the beach so I think we’re pretty lucky.”
With their three children, Maulie, 7, and twins Sahara and Winter, 3, the couple are quickly making their mark online. Both running successful businesses. Carlo, who runs E3 products, mentored Kelly through the early stages of My Beach Kitchen which she says was completely invaluable.
“I couldn’t have done it without Carlo. He pulls me into line all the time and says it’s not going to work, the figures don’t add up, you can’t do it. If he puts it into the excel spreadsheet and it pops out wrong there’s just no point even if I try and twist it.”
Now, Kelly is one of the increasing numbers of locals doing what they love. The surf coast’s creative numbers are growing. Something Kelly says is inevitable.
“We use a local photographer and all local designers. There’s some amazing creative designers in Torquay. I think a lot of the designers were brought in by Quiksilver and Rip Curl and people have left and are going out on their own.”
Although she says it’s not always easy to know which direction to push next she’s looking forward to the year ahead.
“Homewares is such a challenging industry to go into. Trends change so quickly, bronze is in and then copper is in then pastels are in! Maybe we’ll become a little bit more kitsch in our products.
Food wise the focus is on whole foods, eating clean and eating fresh, tumeric and matcha powder’s still big. Also hemp seed, they’re a superfood for women.’
Ultimately Kelly says “It’s nice to know you’re making people happy with your food.”
Get a slice of beach happiness here.