Meet our Team

Olivia Colt

 

My cooking career began at my great-grandmother Mami Juana’s and grandmother Mami Pia’s apron springs, as I watched them and learned to prepare Dominican dishes.

But my first real memory of experimenting solo in the kitchen was at age 9, watching Martha Stewart make mayonnaise from scratch on TV. I took out the blender, separated the egg whites from the yolks, streamed in the olive oil and added a pinch of salt. I was so proud to show my mother what I had created when she got home from work—she loved it. I always attribute that moment of seeing her joy, and the pleasure of sharing something truly delicious, to igniting my passion for cooking and feeding others. I promptly told my parents I wanted to go to culinary school.

Instead of cooking school, however, I moved to San Francisco to attend the University of San Francisco and major in Latin American Studies and History. But on the side, I was cooking and experimenting with recipes and always entertaining. After graduation, I focused my career on social work and fundraising, working in development and event planning for several Bay Area non-profit organizations.

At the age of 27, I experienced my first stroke. My recovery led to a six-month medical leave and an abundance of free time. I began hosting small tasting dinners in the living room of my tiny apartment, with my mother acting as sous chef and lead server and my father as host and entertainer. I was also hired to do daily lunch at two tech start-ups in San Francisco. I decided it was time to quit my job to pursue my dream of a culinary career, and Salt & Honey was born.

Word spread, and in January 2012, I moved the catering business out of my apartment and into our first professional kitchen. We added our first few staff members and grew our client list.

That same year, I had a third stroke, which finally led to the diagnosis of a rare blood disorder, Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria. Since then, treatments help manage my chronic illness and I have learned to balance my "new normal" with my growing business. Salt & Honey now has professional chefs, experienced catering managers and a full-time staff of 30 who make our clients’ dreams come true. I feel so fortunate to work with such a talented and dedicated team.