Street Organics has only been open two days, but owner Nicky Partridge tells me her team has been flat out, grappling with an unexpected, but welcome, influx of customers. “We’re just trying to catch our breath,” she says.
Street Organics co-op was founded in Melbourne by Kristen Morrison. Morrison, whose son Gryffin was born with Down syndrome, quit her job in fashion to immerse herself in nutrition education, wanting to help him stay as healthy as possible. Thanks to the internet’s obsession with clean eating, her little shop rapidly became popular. So, what was once a store selling bulk nuts and seeds, is now a mini-health-food-supermarket, with an adjoining cafe. Morrison and long-time-friend Partridge had mused many times over the years about bringing the cafe to New Zealand. Six years on, they have.
The Takapuna branch of Street Organics is, possibly unsurprisingly, clad with blond wood and polished concrete. Fresh cut flowers – an opening gift from friends – poke their heads from glass milk bottles. There’s a living wall. Everything looks very, well, healthy.
“95% of the products we use in the cafe are organic,” says Partridge, but there’s also a focus on local provenance, “I mean if there’s a choice between an imported organic product and a really high-quality New Zealand alternative, we’ll always go for the New Zealand option.” There are cabinets full of raw cakes and slices; the drinks list has all the obligatory smoothies, matcha and turmeric lattes. An à-la-carte menu, which will be fully unveiled in February, features everything from chilli beef with cauliflower rice to vegan rogan josh.
In the grocery arm of the operation you’ll find meals to go, kombucha making kits (complete with SCOBY), bone broths and all number of dry goods. Everything at Street Organics is made in-house. Whether paleo, gluten free, vegan or omnivore, they appear to cater to every imaginable diet.
For the time being, the cafe will run a limited menu, Monday to Saturday. They’re “finding their feet”, says Partridge, but next month that will increase to seven days with a full food offering, and Thursday dinners starting in March. Also on the horizon are vegan high teas, an evening vegan feast and clean eating workshops.
1 Byron Ave, Takapuna