My name is Alia and I’m the founder of Luv The Grub and a Sustainable Innovation lecturer at Simon Fraser University where I teach students how to use the marketplace of a business to spread good to people & the planet. Beyond this I’m a daughter to a badass refugee mother from East Africa, a partner to a serial entrepreneur who gets my racing ideating mind, a salsa queen, lover of the outdoors, experimental amateur chef and a travel junkie.
I started Luv The Grub after learning about the vast amounts of food waste not only around the world but also here in Canada. I grew up in a household where you never leave food on your plate and I decided to combine my shear shook of how much good food was going to waste with my love of cooking and my desire to help and empower others by founding Luv The Grub.
Luv The Grub isn’t my only ride on the entrepreneurial rodeo! I also co-founded Liv & Lola; a fair trade home décor company based in Central America in addition to many other startups most of which fell flat on their face.
Prior to teaching & becoming a social entrepreneur, I worked in industry for a number of years as a marketer in the fashion, music, publishing and food industry both locally and internationally with my last gig as the Associate Brand Manager at Tim Hortons. It was in my last year of working at Tims that I decided I needed to make a shift evoked by a Women in Foodservice Conference which I attended. It was there that I heard 3 phrases that I’ll never forget during a speech given by a producer and former CNN reporter named Soledad O’Brien. She said
“Live your Live with Passion and Purpose”
“If you Drop Dead Tomorrow would you be Proud of what you did for the world and other people”
“Live your life for the people who will cry at your funeral”
I heard these three mantras and I straight up started doing the ugly cry. You know the cry that Oprah talks about where you’re howling, snots coming out of your nose and you look like a damn mess…yup that was me, in a conference room, with over 1000 powerful professional peers in my industry. I cried so long and hard that other people in the room started asking me if I was okay however I knew deep down I wasn’t. I had a job that I really liked however I never felt a true connection to. I was also living far away from everyone I loved in the pursuit of what everyone tells you what you should be doing with your life – moving up in a company, making more and more money and acquiring more and more things. I was lucky enough that this was the year that Burger King bought out Tim Hortons and I got laid off for which I took it as my golden ticket to pursue all things with heart and soul.
I embarked on social entrepreneurial pursuits, started teaching Social Innovation, moved back to Vancouver close to those I love and have never been more happier and connected in my life.
We all know that we need a village to raise a child and I would argue it’s the same for any business pursuit. I couldn’t have done it with all our supporters who help prove that you can Love the Way Change Tastes
With Luv and all the feelies