We’ve partnered up with CNM (College of Naturopathic Medicine) for the first ever HBC Bake Off on the 17th August. This week we interviewed Adria, a graduate of the CNM Natural Chef course to find out how her studies helped her launch her dream career. 

Leaving her corporate life in finance, consulting and engineering, Adria decided to launch her career as an entrepreneur, opening her first Maple & Co eatery in 2015. She quickly saw success and has since grown the business to include 3 stores and a team of over 30 people.

When asked what her secret weapon to success is, she said:

“LISTS LISTS AND MORE LISTS! Anytime my mind races I write it down and work on it later.”

Maple & Co eateries and Sunday Brunch

Serving up everything from cold pressed juices and gluten-free brownies to Mexican salads and heartwarming broth, Maple & Co provide a little bit of everything to help busy Londoners fuel their day.

In addition to running her three Maple & Co stores, Adria is a natural chef on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch and has been featured in publications such as The Times, Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar and Women’s Health Magazine, as well as writing a regular column for Men’s Health and What’s Cooking magazines.

“I want to inspire people to live happier lives through eating good food!”

But the list of achievements doesn’t stop there. As if she wasn’t doing enough already, she also mentors underprivileged women in entrepreneurship with MentorMatcher, teaches at CNM, and regularly speaks about wellness with partners such as Soho House, Unilever and Estee Lauder Companies.

When asked about how she juggles all of her commitments, she answered: “Between taking care of my 15 week old daughter, teaching nutrition to corporates, running the 3 Maple & Co stores, managing a team of 30, writing for magazines, and presenting on TV, I try to prioritise sleep! I It’s the only way I can function efficiently!”

Credibility and training

Her formal training includes completing her diploma at Le Cordon Bleu in London and the Natural Chef Course at CNM. She says: ”CNM has given me credibility in what I do every day as a Natural Chef – from developing new recipes for our Maple & Co customers to presenting food trends on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch.”

Studying is also big passion for Adria, who confesses that getting back to her studies “reminded me that I don’t do enough of it!” The Natural Chef course taught her the skills she needed to launch her dream career, including how to improve, heal and optimise our health through natural foods.

“Using nutrition to be the best you can be is fundamental to what we do at Maple & Co, so my Natural Chef studies have been hugely important for my career. In a highly unregulated but rapidly growing health and wellness industry it makes it absolutely essential to have credible training when you are giving people advice.”

But cooking is not just her job; it is also her passion.

“Cooking a delicious meal for my family and friends at least once a week is my favourite way to stay grounded. I love my time in the kitchen!”

For more from Adria, see her Instagram.

You can find more information on CNM and the Natural Chef course here. CNM are the official partners of the HBC Bake Off.