What is Nutrition Republic all about?
Nutrition Republic is all about embracing a healthy community, and bringing people together through coffee, food and a nice healthy and positive environment. We wanted to reconnect people and bring them together in a culture that is really popular. It is something we have always done and lived by, and that’s meeting up with our friends at coffee shops talking about life, connecting and just having a laugh. Through that, we wanted to educate people on the best possible ways to eat, drink and enjoy nutrition.
What inspired you to change from your focus on sports supplements to natural health foods?
It was quite a personal journey for myself, and the others as well. I had been into training at the gym for a long time; it was all I focused on, and all I knew. I began to have a few health scares and I just didn’t feel healthy. It was a combination of training too hard and eating too many foods that were based on high protein and high carbohydrate content, instead of nutritional value. I was taking a lot of supplements that gave me a lot of energy, but they weren’t enhancing my natural state of health. I had a really bad chest infection one night, and I went to the gym and literally nearly passed out, yet I didn’t feel sick as I had so much energy from the supplements. From that point, it made me think about if it was actually good for me or not. I had always been into health and trying to get fit, yet I was too focused on the way I looked instead of how I felt. It is a little bit concerning, as people are becoming too caught up on these diets and lifestyles. From this, I went for more of a balanced approach and started focusing on that. We knew we had to make a change, and start giving people what is good for their life from a nutritional and lifestyle point of view, as well as giving people a place to hang out.
Would you say this is where your passion for natural health foods grew?
Definitely. I was always into eating healthy, but it wasn’t focused on super foods and the real depths of nutrition. My wife also trained, and she had her own health issues. We realised along the way, how important nutrition is and avoiding things like gluten, dairy and refined sugars, as they play a big role on your immune system and on the digestive system. The whole shop is gluten free, none of our retail products have gluten, and everything is refined sugar free as well. We only have dairy for our coffee and smoothies, everything in our display fridge, as well as all food and desserts are dairy free.
Is your produce local?
We try and get as much local produce as we can, obviously things like chia and quinoa are hard to source locally at the moment, and they’re working on growing it in Australia. All of our vegetables, eggs and milk are local and our coffee is also roasted locally. Most ingredients here at Nutrition Republic are local, and we try to use as many organic ingredients when they are available.
Who would you consider as your target market?
Everyone! We didn’t really focus on anyone particular at the beginning; we wanted to make it fun, accessible and attracted to all ages. We have noticed we have got people that are quite elderly who come in for tea or coffee, but then we also have school kids and people coming in with their children that also find the smoothies and desserts and all of our ingredients pretty interesting. It’s very broad! We have found that it is definitely a lot more female-based for some reason, but there are also a lot of businessmen and guys that are into their fitness and training that come in.
With health foods on the rise, have you found this market to be competitive?
There has definitely been a bit of a spike in the industry, but we try and do our own thing. We have other cafés on the street and in the area that also focus on health and to be honest, it hasn’t really taken away or given us a reason to think there is competition… It has kind of grown the industry! I think for Nutrition Republic, our differentiating point of view is that we aren’t really focused on one lifestyle, or one nutritional area; we have a bit of everything, so I think that’s what sets us apart!
It is evident that your coffee is amazing, so tell us a bit more about your Organic Espresso and Elixir Bar!
The labels we have on our logo, is Organic Espresso and Elixir Bar.
The espresso is the way we make our coffee, through espresso machine and organic being that all of our beans are certified organic and fair trade. All of our milk is also organic. I suppose the word organic has a little bit of misconception, but it is basically stating that we try and use as many organic ingredients as possible, because when things are grown and farmed organically, they don’t use chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides. The Elixir bar! In historical times, an Elixir was known as a natural healing potion that has medicinal properties, made to heal and aid the body. We didn’t really want to just say ‘smoothie’ or ‘juice,’ we wanted our smoothies to be detoxifying or immune boosting, like a potion! Our protein super food Elixir’s are created to nourish the body and give more vitamins by using fruit and veggies and our protein and chia seeds are used to help rebuild the body.
What do you think makes Nutrition Republic unique?
A lot of things, one is definitely our environment! We want people to feel welcome and excited about eating and drinking healthy things! We make our customers feel at home, so they aren’t strangers in an extremely healthy, clinical and kind of separated industry. When it comes to their health, a lot of people don’t know where to start and feel insecure or lack confidence in that area. We wanted to break those barriers, and show people that natural health foods, coffee and smoothies can be fun! We don’t want health to be looked at as extreme, or clinical – we want to open it up to everyone! The welcoming environment, and keeping it trendy is what makes Nutrition Republic unique.
Do you have any advice for other people looking to start their own business?
Think about how you can best serve people. Business is all about serving people and understanding what people are motived and driven by. Ask yourself what inspires people to live a better life. Think about people and what they value in life, as well as yourself and connect the dots. For us, we really liked health, coffee and the café scene! So I thought how could I best serve these people and bring my love to everyone else!
Nutrition Republic is open everyday from 8am-4pm.
For more, check out Nutrition Republic under the Café Set.
Nutrition Republic is one of Adelaide's newest and hottest health-food cafes. Nutrition Republic specialises in organic coffee blends and magical elixers choc full of various vitamins and good things in general.
Jesse Little caught up with Nutrition Republic's manager to find out the secret behind their success and a little more.