Our interview with Alanna Holmes

I met Alanna Holmes briefly when I came across her Instagram and purchased a gorgeous Robert Gordon jug (complete with a Giant Freckle as big as my head) and she delivered to my doorstep! Alanna is the (looks and) brains behind The Locavorium, a local artisan food hamper company. Alanna grew up in Maude (a tiny little town in the Moorabool Valley near Bannockburn) and has two babies – Eva 12, and Alfie 3.  You can find her on Instagram here.
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TBB: I absolutely love the idea and concept of the Locavorium – tell us a little about how it all started? 
The Locavorium really just started out of my love for all things food, I love to cook, bake and eat! I wanted to start a business I could run from home that incorporated my passion for food in some way. Alfie was only 10 months old at the time so I decided baking and selling my own food wouldn’t practically work, and as an avid farmer’s market attendee I could see an exciting trend for quality food coming out of Geelong. I wanted to showcase everything I had seen and highlight that the Geelong region doesn’t just create incredible wine, but so much more. I’ve always loved the idea of receiving or giving a hamper but they are often filled with average food and packaged in a really old-fashioned style, I wanted to create a high-end, modern style gift hamper.
TBB: What is your favourite local artisan you’re currently stocking? 
This is tough, it’s like asking me to pick a favourite child, they are all so clever and brilliant in their own way. But from a personal taste perspective I love the bean-to-bar chocolate created by The Smooth Chocolator. She imports the cacao bean and crafts her own chocolate, which boggles my mind, and it’s literally the best dark chocolate I’ve ever eaten.
TBB: What did you find the most challenging thing about starting a business from scratch, and running it from home – especially as you have two children? 
In the beginning my biggest challenge was getting over my own fear of failure and taking a leap of faith, I’d never run a business before so I did a lot of learning on the job! But now my biggest struggle is just finding the right balance between work and Mum life, a huge motivator for working for myself is flexibility, those days when your kids are sick and they need you, its so nice to be home and not have to worry about letting down an employer. But on the flipside of that, if the kids need me and I’m busy with hampers it can be hard to balance it all, but it seems to work out in the end!
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TBB: Mothers Day is coming up – you help dads and mums alike get organised with your beautiful hampers, but what is your ideal day – and what will you do? 
For me it’s just about stopping and enjoying my family, and appreciating all the great parts of being a Mum. And as I mentioned I love to eat, we are so spoiled for choice in Geelong now, so eating will be high on the agenda. I think we’ll have a low key start to the day, my husband usually cooks me an incredible breakfast, and then have lunch somewhere relaxed, I’m thinking Clyde Park would be lovely!
TBB: 5 people you would invite to dinner and why – GO!
Wow that’s tough, I am about to really show my food nerd colours here!
Margaret Fulton – because she’s Australian baking royalty and hopefully she’ll bring dessert!
Jamie Oliver – Because I love his enthusiasm and he seems like he knows how to party!
Shannon Bennett – AMAZING chef and I’d love to hear his story.
Curtis Stone – Love his food and style of cooking, has an incredible success story and well, um, he’s easy on the eye!
Lorraine Elliot from Not Quite Nigella (blog) – because I love her recipes and honest style.
And I’m adding a sixth, my hubby Nathan, because we love to eat, drink and laugh together and no dinner party would be complete without him.
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