Nutritious, homemade “fast food” option in Torquay
Friends Sam Learmonth and Tash Chamberlain had a shared vision to create an inviting and comfortable living room-style space on the Surf Coast where healthy eating was at the heart of what they do.
Their business dream came to fruition in October 2021 with the opening of their cafe, Bowlz, where they proudly provide a nutritious, homemade ‘fast food’ option to Torquay.
Bowlz is already a local favourite as customers embrace the delicious menu of freshly made smoothie bowls, salads, smoothies, juices, healthy treats and weekly specials.
Also winning hearts is the aroma filling the Gilbert Street cafe from their Dimmatina organic coffee, the only place to get Dimmatina on the Surf Coast.
“People are saying they are craving our coffee, our smoothie bowls and salads,” Sam says, with a warm smile.
“This is what we wanted for people, to become addicted to healthy food and to crave it.
“It’s fuelling people’s bodies, how good is that?
It’s the best thing that could happen for us – that people would want this food and tell us they can’t wait to have it again tomorrow.
“Also, it was about educating the local community that there is a choice that is fast food but healthy fast food that can be turned over reasonably quickly.”
Stepping inside Bowlz, it evokes the feeling of a cosy living room and that’s exactly what its owners intended, with their shared vision achieved with help from their supportive partners, tradies Adrian Stapleton from Stapes Handyman Services and Ben Chamberlain from Aframe Carpentry.
“We always talked about going into business.
Tash has got yoga and meditation in her background and I was a personal trainer,” Sam said.
Tash added: “We were like, ‘what should we do?’, we were both living down this way and we were looking around for something different”.
The ever-evolving menu showcases a range of tempting fare with names inspired by its beachside location, including the North Shore classic acai bowl (a favourite), the Pink Ocean and Blue Lagoon smoothie bowls, and a range of salads such as the homemade chicken Buddha bowl and smoked salmon Black Pearl to name just a few, not to mention their toasted chicken and falafel wraps.
Healthy snacks include various types of protein balls which are all made inhouse using locally sourced produce, and the menu moves with the seasons including homemade soups and slow cooked meals in winter.
Bowlz latest addition includes a slushy machine loaded with real citrus fruit cordials made by local Helen Kline from Stir Crazy.
Supporting local businesses is a top priority with their ever-growing supplier list including Surf Coast Quality Meats, Dustys Bulk Foods, Neat Nutrition, Sacred Taste, Inglenook Dairy, Nardi, and Down Under Food and Beverages among others.
Sustainability is a huge focus and includes the use of coconut bowls and bamboo cups whilst dining in and biodegradable containers for take away.
Getting rid of single use items is high on the agenda for Sam and Tash and provide an incentive for their customers to bring in their own containers with a 50c eco discount or alternatively partake in the Mug Swap Library.
Bowlz is a licensed venue, offering drinks from local providers including Mock Red Hill, Torquay Wine Store and Bells Beach Brewery, which comes in very handy when hosting their monthly Paint and Pinot nights ran by local artist Emily Wright.
This space is also available to hire for private events.
Bowlz Torquay is located at 24 Gilbert Street, open seven days a week from 7.30am with extended hours during the warmer months.
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