Husband-and-wife team Josh and Lisa Thompson did a lot of research before opening cafe and wholefood store, The Farm.
“We tried the paleo diet,” explains Josh, whose business card reads “Farm Chief”. “While we didn’t find it sustainable, it opened our eyes to the challenges of eating in a healthy way. It’s not always easy.”
Josh, an avid surfer, and Lisa, a long-distance runner, found that having to go to different stores to source ingredients was frustrating and time consuming, so they designed a quick and easy solution for people like them. “We offer ingredients not only in their raw form, but through the cafe we can give people a taste of how to really utilise them,” says Lisa.
The cafe takes up the front half of the Macleay Street space, designed by TomMarkHenry and Studio Constructions. Brekky bowls might include chia-seed pudding with coconut milk, raspberry compote, blueberries, banana and coconut; or acai blended with coconut water and cinnamon, topped with goji berries and pecan granola. Cocowhip, a blend of fresh coconut and coconut water that looks and tastes like ice cream, is embellished with crunchy peanut butter praline dipped in vegan chocolate; or a shot of espresso with almond nougat and caramel sauce. For lunch, the range of savoury dishes on display might include salads and bone broth.
At the back of the cafe is a wholefood store stocked with produce from Himalayan pink sea salt and organic spices, to wild rice and raw honey, sourced where possible from smaller suppliers. This allows for greater transparency of ingredient origin and more supplier involvement in the store, including tasting sessions. Josh and Lisa have worked hard to understand the background of every item on offer, often including a “fun fact” to help shoppers learn about what they’re buying.
“We found that a lot of health-food stores can be a bit too serious, even confusing at times,” says Josh. “Sometimes it’s hard to navigate all the different products, so we wanted to make it simple and enjoyable for people to eat well. You can’t learn everything you need to know from the back of a label!”