BIG READ

A CAFE OWNER AND A YOGA AND FIT­NESS IN­STRUC­TOR HAVE TEAMED UP SIDE-BY-SIDE IN CALOUN­DRA’S MAIN STREET TO OF­FER SOME­THING THE COAST HASN’T SEEN BE­FORE

Life & Style Weekend - - CONTENTS - WORDS: AN­NIE CAUGHEY

Imag­ine the mo­ment. You are work­ing away in a busy cafe on its open­ing day. A cus­tomer ap­proaches you and asks, “Is there a man­ager in.’’ You’re 25 years old and you re­ply, “Hey, I’m ac­tu­ally the owner.’’ Jas­min Smith lived that mo­ment this week, ex­cept the young woman wasn’t open­ing her first busi­ness, she was open­ing her sec­ond. If you’ve dined at the pop­u­lar One Block Back in Caloun­dra be­fore then you’ve def­i­nitely seen Jas­min’s hand­i­work. The cafe has an aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing fit-out and serves won­drous smoothie bowls, deca­dent healthy dishes and raw desserts. Whether you’re an orig­i­nal OBB fan or just a lover of food in gen­eral, you’ll be ex­cited to know its sis­ter busi­ness Rawr Foods has fi­nally opened its own shopfront on Bul­cock St. Jas­min opened her new store on Mon­day, a mo­ment she had been en­vi­sion­ing for more than five years. Rawr Foods had been her orig­i­nal baby, an idea she nur­tured from con­cep­tion when she was just 20 years old. She first started out mak­ing scrump­tious cre­ations in her tiny kitchen at home and sell­ing them to cafes through­out the Coast. “I al­ways planned for Rawr Foods to have its own shopfront,” Jas­min said.

“One Block Back was meant to be the home of Rawr Foods, but we got so busy there it kind of took every­thing away from it. So, it’s nice to make it more ex­clu­sive.” The new cafe spe­cialises in health­ier style dishes and snacks, done in a way that ev­ery­one can en­joy, meat eaters, ve­g­ans, the lac­tose in­tol­er­ant and cel­li­acs alike. But per­haps the stand-out fea­ture of the venue is its in­cred­i­ble de­sign. The site im­me­di­ately at­tracts your attention right from the street walk. Ap­proach­ing the busi­ness, you feel as if you are step­ping out of ev­ery­day life and straight into a Bali hol­i­day. As you walk closer, you are drawn in by per­fectly placed green­ery con­trasted against pops of pas­tel pink. The theme feels like a blend be­tween a desert and a trop­i­cal land­scape. Drip­ping in sum­mer vibes, it’s one fine place to en­joy a cuppa. But as im­pres­sive as Rawr Foods is, it’s only one part of the in­no­va­tive health hub that is emerg­ing on Bul­cock St. New Stan­dard Yoga and Fit­ness Cen­tre is right next door, and the com­bi­na­tion of the two busi­nesses has cre­ated some­thing the Coast has never seen. At­tract­ing sim­i­lar clien­tele, the two busi­nesses utilise each other’s of­fer­ings to ex­pand upon their own. It was an idea that was con­strued in the dreams of one very pas­sion­ate yoga teacher Jenelle Leat. Af­ter spend­ing 11 years teach­ing dif­fer­ent styles of yoga, Jenelle couldn’t de­cide on one sin­gu­lar di­rec­tion. “I said to my hus­band. ‘I want to do all these dif­fer­ent things. Do I fo­cus on kids? Do I fo­cus on yoga? Do I fo­cus on teacher train­ing?’ And he’s like, ‘I keep telling you, just open your own stu­dio and then you can do every­thing’,” Jenelle said. “This cen­tre is ba­si­cally every­thing I love in one.” Un­like most yoga stu­dios, New Stan­dard also of­fers other classes fo­cus­ing on strength and car­dio­vas­cu­lar fit­ness. How­ever, it’s op­er­ated in a very dif­fer­ent way to main­stream gyms. Jenelle be­lieves many other fit­ness cen­tres fo­cus on a men­tal­ity of “no pain, no gain’’ that can push mem­bers to lift harder and heav­ier to the point of in­jury. “My classes are fo­cused on func­tional and sus­tain­able move­ment. “So you’re not just go­ing and smash­ing your body now and later down the track pay­ing for it,” Jenelle said. The en­tire space of the hub, in­clud­ing its com­mu­nity gar­den, was part of Jenelle’s mas­ter plan. She first met Jas­min at One Block Back and could see (and ob­vi­ously taste) that Jas­min’s busi­ness di­rec­tion was ex­actly what she needed. “This cafe was part of my vi­sion. I wanted a cafe that ser­viced both my stu­dents and the pub­lic. And Jas­min has gone above and beyond de­liv­er­ing that,” Jenelle said. “I wanted to cre­ate a space where peo­ple wanted to be, and ac­tu­ally wanted to hang out, not just come to my class, tick the box, don’t talk to any­body and leave.” Jenelle’s pas­sion for health and well­be­ing is painted in her in­fec­tious smile. Not in busi­ness for profit but rather a pos­i­tive ef­fect on the com­mu­nity, she of­fers unique ex­change pro­grams for in­di­vid­u­als who can’t af­ford mem­ber­ships. “I just want peo­ple to be in­volved, so if they can’t buy a mem­ber­ship we can work some­thing out, whether they spend 90 min­utes a week gar­den­ing or help­ing to clean the stu­dio,” she said. “We are at a time where peo­ple re­ally want to be part of some­thing.” The cen­tre of­fers child-mind­ing, kids’ classes and var­i­ous holis­tic fit­ness of­fer­ings. It’s an ex­cit­ing, fam­ily-friendly con­cept that might just change the af­ter­noon grunt of go­ing to the gym.

PHOTOS WAR­REN LYNAM

Jas­min Smith and Jenelle Leat share the same am­bi­tions and have united in busi­ness.

PHOTO: AN­NIE CAUGHEY

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