SPROUT Eden was born from a simple food philosophy: Take fresh, seasonal local produce and turn it into scrumptious, healthy food.
Pushing against the tide of foreign imports, supermarket duopolies and climate changes paying off for SPROUT’s Karen Lott and Barbara Greenwood.
The café which opened on December 20 last year, has become the number one ranked Eden restaurant/café on TripAdvisor and the reviews are positively delicious.
Andrew L from Sydney drools that SPROUT is the …“Best cafe in town and certainly the best coffee around. Was in town on business and had a great breakfast there. Really nice set up, friendly staff and excellent food, which is all locally sourced. Even the coffee is Australian and arguably the best I’ve had anywhere! Brilliant!”
Mark W from Wollongong licks his lips in agreement: “Awesome food to eat in or take away. When I say take-away, I don’t just mean cooked food to take away, I mean FRESH, LOCAL, REAL FOOD to take away! I wish cafes like Sprout were the norm rather than the exception. This place is worth the trip to Eden just to grab yourself some original and delicious LOCAL produce.”
Germinated from the Nethercote Seasonal Produce markets, also the brainchild of Karen and Barbara, SPROUT is supplied by 75 local growers, with 16 growing specially for SPROUT customers. “Some are big growers and then there are the back yarders,” Barbara explains.
“Really, it’s just common sense to eat fresh, seasonal produce and to share with others any excess from your own garden,” she says.
Barbara’s growers program invites anyone in the local area to sell to them.
“The deal is, they come in with whatever they’ve got, no matter how little or how much. I have a price list based on the major supermarket’s online prices, and we give them two thirds of that.
“If we’ve got a huge pile of something –say lemons- then I sell them for a knock down price.
At least then the food isn’t being thrown away.”
“It’s been brilliant. It’s worked consistently throughout the winter.
“We had no expectation when we started and no idea how it would work. It just seems so natural.”
The response to Nethercote Markets exceeded Karen and Barbara’s expectations.
“The market has just taken off. People want local food. If you concentrate the local food into one location three or four times a year people are just blown away by it because it’s what they want, how they want to eat. The shop (SPROUT) is a natural extension of that.”
Nethercote Markets and therefore SPROUT grew from a desire to source food that tastes like it should.
“It was really disappointing coming down here and buying food that tasted like it was straight out of the chiller. You would be hard pressed to tell a tomato from an apple based on its taste and texture.
“Once we started eating locally and seasonally, this was proper tasting food,” Barbara says.
“Now I do a call out to the growers for some seasonal food, like pumpkins and silverbeet.
We have lots coming and lots going out. I supply the kitchen at SPROUT from what the growers bring in so you are only eating the best quality, locally produced food in all ways.
“But don’t panic if you have lots of something. Just because everyone may have loads of lemons still bring them in. Did you know you can freeze lemons?
Why not do it and have lovely juicy lemons all year round?”
The shops philosophy ensures no one is ripped off.
“SPROUT doesn’t make any money out of it. It’s all about fresh, local produce.
“I think by and large people are getting to really like it,” Barbara says.
“It isn’t a huge story but I just want people to get revved up about it.
“If they want to join the growers program come and talk to me. We have some funding we can give them to help with start-up costs, for seed or fencing, for instance.”
Want to become a grower for SPROUT? Call Barbara at SPROUT Eden on 6496 1511.