A Lively Addition
A local home cook’s pandemic-born business has caught the eye of Ochsner’s Eat Fit NOLA program
While Lauren Mora is far from the only person to translate a passion in the kitchen into a business during the pandemic, her company, Lively Sauces, is unique in that during its earliest days in business, it managed to secure a partnership with Ochsner’s well-known Eat Fit NOLA program.
A resident of Lakeview, Mora came up with the idea to start a business in October of 2020 while doing something that comes naturally to her, caring for her family through healthy cooking.
“Cooking for my family brings me to my happy place, but I have three young children, and I rarely have time to cook an elaborate meal that takes a while to prepare,” she said. “So, one night, my family was eating dinner with a really delicious sauce and the lightbulb went off. Sauces make a dish.”
Mora has created a line of savory sauces with the goal of helping busy home cooks create healthy meals in a fraction of the time.
“Lively’s motto and dinner goals are: Easy, Healthy, Delicious. I believe you shouldn’t have to sacrifice health, flavor and fresh food for convenience,” she said.
Lively Sauces is tapping into a growing sector of people looking for hassle-free, ready-to-eat meal solutions that are healthy, plant-based or highlighting international flavor profiles. According to a 2020 report by Million Insights, “The global cooking sauces market is projected to reach $48.65 billion by 2025.”
Mora grew up learning how to cook and eat well from family members, but she said her corporate background, along with past experience in the service industry, came in handy when she decided to transform her hobby into a business venture.
“I began my career in the corporate world, quarterbacking sales of software solutions into hospitals,” she said. “This seems like a strange leap to this business, but, really, I’ve always been very focused on helping people. I just went from patient safety to individual health. I’ve had experience along the way working as a server and shift manager in a restaurant, and several years here in New Orleans with a prominent catering company.”
Lively Sauces currently offers four different products: Green Dream, Full Gusto, Voo Doo and Jazmo, with more flavors on the way. Each 8-ounce package of sauce costs $8 and is available for pickup. Mora also does local deliveries every Tuesday. Currently, she is marketing through Instagram and Facebook, encouraging people to sign up for the company’s weekly order email at LivelySauces.com.
“I created every sauce with mostly organic, real food: veggies, herbs, and ingredients with impactful health benefits,” said Mora, who noted she currently buys her ingredients from local grocery stores but plans to eventually partner with local regenerative farms for the produce. “So much of the food we buy has a list of ingredients that require a chemistry degree to read. We have ingredients you can pronounce,” she said. “The idea is that the customer can pour it on literally anything: the simplest thrown-together meal, salads, any protein [or] as a dip. They are really versatile. I also provide meal idea cards so you can use even less mental energy on making a meal.”
This past fall, Lively Sauces teamed up with Eat Fit NOLA. The collaboration has helped the fledgling company garner attention and gain support for providing an easy, healthy meal options for singles, couples and New Orleans families of all sizes.
“I reached out to them on Instagram early on, and they immediately expressed interest in me becoming a partner,” she said. “Our food values are very aligned, so it’s a natural fit. Their name is so well known around the city, so of course I am thrilled to work with them.
“The Eat Fit logo on my sauces gives customers an immediate understanding that my products are good for them and they can be incorporated as part of a healthful diet. The Eat Fit team has a very strong presence in the state and having them as a partner means that a large network of people seeking healthy and local food will be able to learn about Lively.”
For the time being, Mora is working solo out of her home kitchen, but she said business continues to increase and she anticipates adding team members and a move to a professional kitchen in the near future.
“The response I’ve had from customers is amazing,” she said. “I’m growing solely by word of mouth at this point, and customers are really talking it up to their family and friends. It’s very rewarding knowing my products are getting people excited about dinner; the sauces are so easy to use and you truly do not feel like it’s a ‘health’ food, but just a ridiculously flavor-slammed sauce. My target customer is anyone who is busy in their daily lives, which is all of us. I have some serious home cooks using all the way to people who don’t cook at all.”
Lively’s motto and dinner goals are: Easy, Healthy, Delicious…you shouldn’t have to sacrifice health, flavor and fresh food for convenience.”
Owner and creator Lauren Mora
A Flavor for Any Dish
Lively Sauces currently include:
Green Dream — a creamy, savory sauce filled with herbs.
Full Gusto — a roasted cauliflower sauce made with herbs and tahini, warmly spiced with harissa.
Voo Doo — a umami miso sauce with citrus and cilantro.
Jazmo — A creamy sauce similar to a remoulade, packed with veggies.