meet Allison, our founder.
THE CHEF BEHIND TRUFFULA’S CAREFULLY CRAFTED FOODS.
OUR FOUNDER’S STORY
A trained Holistic Nutritionist and Raw Food Chef, Allison Landin’s culinary journey began at 15 years old when she rebelliously became a vegetarian. Growing up as part of a food co-op on the west coast, Allison was accustomed to eating whole, natural foods at home, so the switch to vegetarianism was a natural one. But being so young and naïve, Allison stopped eating meat, but wasn’t exactly eating healthful foods and she just didn’t feel good. So, in 1999 after meeting some vegans, she decided to try it for a month and discovered that it got her off processed foods and in the kitchen. Making the switch to veganism in the 90s meant giving up everything she loved – ice cream, cheese, butter, milk, eggs – but for Allison it was a worthwhile pursuit that sparked her interest in both food as medicine and vegan cooking.
A few years later, Allison moved from Winnipeg to Edmonton to oversee the sales and operations of seven retail stores across the prairies and helped the company expand into the Vancouver market. The move was a catalyst for Allison to re-evaluate her career and discover that what she really wanted, was to help people live healthier lives. Around that time, Allison became interested in nutrition, naturopathy, and yoga. Because food and yoga made her feel good, she began dabbling in raw food, taking workshops as well as yoga teacher training in Thailand.
After returning from Thailand, Allison moved to an organic farm with her then partner where she began cooking massive meals for staff using the farm’s produce and grains, discovering her raw passion for nourishing people and a talent for creating delicious vegan meals. At the time, even though she ate incredibly whole and healthy foods, Allison’s osteoarthritis worsened, and she cut nightshades and corn out of her diet to combat inflammation. Now she was a vegan who couldn’t eat potatoes, peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, or corn.
Three years later, a newly single mother, Allison returned to Edmonton where she worked at Millcreek Culina as a server and helping out with administrative tasks. At Culina, Allison was given an opportunity to explore her culinary interests and expand her skillset in the kitchen, refining her palate and giving her confidence. Nine months later, she was hospitalized, diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, and handed a prescription for a lifetime of heavy-duty pharmaceuticals, putting her faith in her body’s ability to heal with food and herbs to the test. After researching how people healed themselves from significant illnesses with wheatgrass, juice, and raw food, Allison didn’t fill her prescription, opting to heal herself with food. Eating a diet of wheat grass, microgreens, juice and fruit for months, Allison lost a lot of weight, worrying everyone around her. But her plan worked: after three months, her symptoms disappeared and she was able to start reintroducing nuts and seeds, allowing her to slowly return to a healthy weight and manage her disease. Empowered by her decision to explore healing with food, Allison studied holistic nutrition at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2012.
When she graduated, Allison worked as a holistic nutritionist at a naturopath’s office where she helped people find the right diet for their bodies while also working at Noorish. Her first attempt at making a cultured cashew cheese was devoured and repeatedly demanded by vegans and non-vegans alike. Shortly afterwards, in 2013, she started Truffula Wellness Corporation named for the Truffula trees in The Lorax to reflect her commitment to the environment and landed Earth’s General Store as the first retailer to sell her food. In 2014, she joined Noorish’s dessert team and took Matthew Kenney’s raw food training, becoming a Raw Food Chef. Back then, through Truffula she taught raw food workshops and perfected her craft: cultured nut products and gluten-free crispbreads.
Moving into her own commercial kitchen in 2014, Allison began selling her products at the 124th Street Grand Market. Since then, she’s expanded distribution and her team, refining her recipes to perfection and offering high-quality, artisanal vegan products that are versatile, healthful, delicacies equally enjoyed as part of a picnic or a fancy charcuterie board.