Messages from the owners

Pauliina Salmenhaara

Hello! I’m Pauliina Salmenhaara and I’m a mix of Mother-Director-Motivator-Plus Plus, with my two families: the one with my two girls and husband, and the other with our Living Food Lab team.

In January 2017, we moved to Bali, and after some months of searching, a dream came true when I become co-owner and director of Living Food Lab. Before this, I had lived long-term in Singapore, Shanghai, Helsinki, Stockholm, Brussels, as well as done short stints in Paris, Stade, Brighton, Hua Hin, Maine and New York.

Originally groomed for diplomacy, I left the human rights unit of the Finnish foreign ministry to do human rights NGO work in Finland, and fund-raising in Shanghai. After a crisis in my 30’s, I qualified as a holistic healer and raw food, vegan chef, with Singapore as our home base for 10 years, and studies in Thailand, Bali, Maine and New York.

Eleven years into this journey, now in my forties, enjoying a combo of business, family, self care, travel, studies and delicious food, I’ve never had as much energy and commitment to be of service to others and assist people in their journey to a radiant and nourished life.

The various milestones in my life have aligned in a way that is coming full circle, as I connect my deep sense of justice, love, unity and integrity with my experience in conscious nourishment. Together with my beloved Arttu, our Bali family, and our guests and partners, we are creating a Now and a Future that is based in kindness, joy and delicious food.

When times get tough, I always am pulled towards the light by my larger mission in life, which is to bring plant-based food and education to schools and hospitals. That mission has an excellent foundation at our cafes at the Green School Bali, which serves as a testament to the healing and strengthening power of plant-based foods. I hope to expand to other schools and look forward to mindful collaborations with other creative visionaries.

On paper we are the owners, by title I am the director, but at the core, Arttu and I are the Heart and Soul of Living Food Lab. The bigger our team grows, the harder this heart pulses and the stronger our soul grows. We’d like to share that with you. Join us, come visit, eat at one of our tables, see who you meet. Let’s make magic together.

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Arttu Salmenhaara

Our common journey in Asia first took Pauliina and I from the beautiful summers and harsh winters of Finland in Northern Europe to an ever-exciting Shanghai that we fully embraced as our home for close to six fabulous years, during which time our two lovely daughters were born.

This was also the time when, to escape pollution and damp cold winter months, we first came to visit Bali, and immediately fell in love with the beauty of her nature, people and culture.

No matter how much we liked our life in Shanghai, there came a point where we needed to move to live in cleaner air for health reasons. We also wanted to live in the tropics, and were lucky to call Singapore our home for the next ten years. Frequent visits to Bali continued, and Pauliina whole-heartedly embarked on her journey of healthy eating and alternative healing. This period saw the whole family shift towards a healthier, more sustainable and spiritual lifestyle. We also got back to a more active lifestyle, as outdoors activites and sports were more easily accessible both for the girls, as well as for my mountain and road cycling.

Meanwhile, visits to Bali and other gorgeous destinations in South-East Asia, Australia and New Zealand continued, and we were always having the thought of “Is this a place where we could live?” at the back of our minds. Until one day, we decided to change our lives.

Corporate work covering the Asia-Pacific and Middle East, spending to the tune of 160 days a year traveling for work, while exciting and rewarding in many ways, was no longer what I wanted to do. Singapore was no longer giving us the new experiences nor offering the broader horizons we wanted to see in front of us. After a period of planning and a few reconnaissance trips, we finally decided to pack a part of our belongings and move to Bali, carrying the bare minimum in our bags.

Welcome the Green School, welcome clean air, welcome the mountains and the ocean. A few of our initial business plans finally did not go through, but despite initial disappointments this lead us to where we are now, running the Living Food Lab. Pauliina has in a short time transformed the business to a new level, and while doing so built a very cohesive, strong team of passionate people.

Whenever not in Bali, and therefore not having my green juice, coffee and smoothie bowl for breakfast at LFL, I truly miss it. Both the food and the team. Oh, and I also miss cycling with friends at dawn, through traditional villages, through the hustle of morning markets and the sounds and sights of ceremonies at the temples, to the mountains of Bali, but then that is a whole other story…

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Suksema and Om Swastiastu,
Pauliina and Arttu