Find­ing a new way for­ward for food

Bay St cafe takes on the en­vi­ron­ment and wins

Tweed Daily News - - NEWS - Ais­ling Bren­nan ais­ling.bren­nan@tweed­dai­lynews.com.au

THE resur­gence of the once-boom­ing Bay Street in Tweed Heads is help­ing dreams come true for cafe own­ers like Glenn and Sarah Smith, who op­er­ate Food Smith.

Af­ter meet­ing in a cafe in Bris­bane, the pair have worked hard to bring their dreams to life by bring­ing fresh cakes and food op­tions to their cus­tomers.

We spoke to Glenn about Food Smith about how he’s proud to be a Bay Street busi­ness owner.

What do you most en­joy about op­er­at­ing your own busi­ness?

Sarah loves to see peo­ple’s faces as they bite into one of her cre­ations. She is fuelled by the praise.

Our cus­tomers are so lovely and have so much grat­i­tude for the ef­fort we put in. This makes it im­mensely re­ward­ing.

We love com­mu­nity and it has been the best way to be­come a part of the Tweed. See­ing the busi­ness grow is a real thrill.

We make al­most ev­ery­thing by hand in small batches. We of­fer gluten

free, veg­e­tar­ian and ve­gan op­tions. We source from lo­cal mak­ers too.

What’s the big­gest chal­lenge in op­er­at­ing a busi­ness in Tweed?

Tweed has a very di­verse mar­ket in so­cial and eco­nomic terms, added to this we have a very strong in­ter­state fol­low­ing. Sat­is­fy­ing ev­ery­one’s tastes and bud­get is a chal­lenge, we don’t want to be ex­clu­sive: you are wel­come at Food Smith in a suit or thongs.

It’s about great food and cof­fee in a wel­com­ing en­vi­ron­ment. Tweed is a small pop­u­la­tion, this makes us work harder to be the best we can.

What are you do­ing to be more en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly?

There is no choice. We have to be con­cerned about all our choices to do our part to im­prove a des­per­ate sit­u­a­tion.

Cafes are known for waste. Food Smith has supplied com­postable take­away items from the start. Not biodegrad­able, gen­uinely com­postable.

These items are made from plant-de­rived poly­mers and can just go in the green bin. They cost us more but it’s an en­vi­ron­men­tal choice.

We do­nate 20 cents to a lo­cal land­care cause for ev­ery cus­tomer that uses their own cup.

We only send one small do­mes­tic, un­der the bench bin, to land­fill ev­ery two weeks. That’s up to 400 meals. Ev­ery­thing else is reused, up-cy­cled or re­cy­cled. This was made pos­si­ble by Tweed Shire Coun­cil’s three bin sys­tem.

How do you see Bay Street evolv­ing?

Bay Street will be a col­lec­tion of com­merce punc­tu­ated with ar­ti­san stores and food out­lets.

It will be the be­gin­ning of a con­nec­tion that flows through Jack Evans Boat Har­bour to the river.

PHOTO: SCOTT POWICK

COF­FEE: Glenn and Sarah Smith are part of the resur­gence of Bay Street, Tweed Heads.

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