Changing tastes in footy food
It’s not often an old-school rugby head sits down to a salad-laden meal at the rugby club, but Rolleston Rugby Football Club (RRFC) is a bit different.
You won’t find pies and greasy chips here. It’s slow braised beef, fresh salads, gourmet sandwiches and hand-cut chips all the way.
RRFC has entered into a partnership with food-truck vendors Herba Gourmet to provide food to players, spectators and the general public each Saturday.
Club president Paul Frewen said the partnership was part of the club’s wider push to forge its own culture and identity.
‘‘We wanted to be different because we’re a young club. We don’t have all the old-boys telling us how it was in their day,’’ he said.
The club started in 1978, but folded soon after, amalgamating with Springston before breaking away again in 2001 to reform as a stand-alone club.
‘‘It’s been slowly growing as Rolleston grows.’’
Frewen said the club’s mission was to provide an environment where all players were valued and able to reach their potential. Their family oriented focus and encouraging outlook aimed to ‘‘grow great citizens for Rolleston’’.
As part of that, Frewen said changing the food culture at the club was key to growing healthy bodies and minds.
While the prices were not as cheap as the classic pies and chips of before, Frewen said the food now was of a much higher standard.
‘‘We’re not selling crappy food. It’s good quality, nutritious food that you’re getting.’’
Frewen said the food had ‘‘blown away’’ visiting teams.
‘‘We get old rugby heads ... sitting in here and eating something with a salad on the plate and saying ‘mate, that is awesome’.’’
While the partnership was still on a trial basis, Frewen said feedback from both the club and the community had been positive.
Herba Gourmet founder Kerry Hastings said the partnership grew after Hastings and her partner met RRFC development coach and former Crusader Ged Robinson at a wedding.
Hastings said they spoke of the similarities between the visions of Herba and RRFC, and Robinson later suggested the current partnership.
‘‘We were like ‘oh my God, this is perfect’,’’ Hastings said.
‘‘The club really support us and I love their concept.’’
Hastings said her food was her ‘‘absolute passion’’ and put her ‘‘heart and soul’’ into providing fresh, hand-made and balanced options alongside the ‘‘naughty stuff’’.
‘‘My favourite food is chips, but I wouldn’t eat it all day, every day. I believe in offering people balanced options.’’
Food from Herba Gourmet was also available to takeaway from the RRFC.
Rolleston Rugby Club president Paul Frewen says his club is excited to be offering something different to the players.