Not only is this vibrant Aussie the owner of the natural, nourishment-focused practice Citrine Kitchen but Paige and her tiny sidekick Rumi are the flavor behind the Dog+Me Treats in Awoo’s Winter Solstice Box.
We are continuously inspired by this dog mama, her partner, John and their quiet, chaotic lifestyle. We are lucky enough to count them as friends and truly so excited for you to meet them.
Tell us about yourself and your pup.
I am originally from Australia but have spent most of the past 11 years living in Brooklyn and the Hudson Valley. My husband and I adopted Rumi from a chihuahua rescue center in Oswego, NY in 2018. We had originally gone to see another dog, but the minute I saw Rumi (previously named Dinky!) It was love at first sight (for reference she was asleep in her foster mom’s ample bosom with her little tongue hanging out).
Most days you can find me in the kitchen, creating recipes, making orders for private customers and baking at Village Coffee & Goods in Kingston, NY. Rumi is mostly always napping while I bake but is close by should something yummy ever fall to the ground. It’s chaos most of the time, but a good slower-paced kind-of-chaos-- not the manic chaos I had back in NYC. This may all change in Feb when our baby is due, however--- I hear that is a whole new level of chaos!
What is Citrine Kitchen and why did you start your business.
At Citrine Kitchen, my passion is to create nourishing but delicious plant-based baked goods, adaptogenic chocolates, elixirs and simple meals that spark joy and healing in the kitchen. Everything I make is created from all organic, gluten-free, vegan, and paleo-friendly ingredients.
Working with food has always been a passion of mine (I even married a chef!) and watching how what we eat can have such massive impact not only on physical but also emotional and mental health (not to mention environmental) inspired me to start a company that makes cooking and plant-based eating an intuitive practice. The aim is to transform how we feel, our relationship to food (we call this heart-based eating), and our footprint on the planet.
Tell us about Rumi’s personality. Any funny quirks?
Rumi is a fierce little ball of cuddles and barks. She loves the scent. One of the funniest things she does is take kibbles of food over to the carpet when eating and roll her body on them before eating them. It’s honestly pretty relatable.
She also really loves other dogs (she had originally been rescued from an 18-dog hoarding situation in West Virginia). Her best friend is a massive German shepherd, Thunder, and watching the two of them play is a hilarious joy, though admittedly terrifying since he is 120LB and Rumi is 10LB on a chubby day!
How has Rumi impacted your life?
In every way possible. She is a real little heart expander -- always wanting cuddles and has basically taken over my side of the bed despite her tiny size! Now we are getting ready for our first child and feel like she has helped prepare us for the expanded love and responsibility coming our way. Though, not sure how Rumi is going to take a younger brother stealing some attention away from her. She is a needy little thing.
What are 3 pieces of advice you would give to other entrepreneurs?
- Starting your own company is hard and can be very scary. The idea of being your own boss sounds great, but it also means you are accountable to yourself and your dream and you must rely on self-motivation-- which is HARD. My advice is to choose something you absolutely LOVE doing, or are passionate about, as you’ll need all the motivation to keep going if / when things get tough.
- Set quarterly goals for yourself that include large projects that need to be completed (complete business plan, apply for that loan, form three new strategic partnerships, etc), as well as smaller deadlines for day to day business (i.e get new recipe tested, update website). Make yourself stick to these deadlines. But also, life happens. Don’t beat yourself up if you miss the smaller deadlines, you can evaluate your quarterly goals and adjust accordingly.
- When you are starting a business it can be easy to focus on the seemingly endless tasks that lie ahead -but it's important to take stock of all that you have achieved as often as possible too -- this helps with perspective and gratitude. I like to think of it as a form of self-care.
What are your fall food must-haves?
- Apples (they are AMAZING at this time of the year!)
- Butternut squash/sweet potato/greens for nourishing soups.
- Bone/mushroom broth to boost the immune system.
- Hot oatmeal with flax/chia, berries, spices and cinnamon (so healing in the morning!).
- Anxiety reducing chocolates (especially during an election year like this one-- I make high dose paleo/vegan chocolate using the plant medicine of Kanna).
- Local sourdough bread from Kingston Bread or Jon’s Bread in the Hudson Valley slathered in tahini and raw local honey.
How has your relationship with food impacted how you feed Rumi?
Between running a plant-based food business, renovating our house, and making food deliveries all over the Hudson Valley, we are a highly active family. So, we want to eat food that nourishes us and gives us energy (and joy!). We want the same for Rumi. We want her to be happy, which for dogs is tied closely to their physical health, so what we put in her body is just as important to us as what we put in ours. Let us just say there is no factory farmed meat or GMO veggies for her, only local Hudson Valley meat and organic greens from our garden. Plus, some treats here and there too of course.