The paleo trend is franchising

By Sarah Stowe | 29 Oct 2015 View comments

Franchising is in full swing for Cairns-based business Paleo Cafe, meanwhile the Primal Pantry in Brisbane will adopt the model to open additional sites to bring the paleo diet to health conscious Australians.

Paleo Cafe first opened its doors in October 2012, and it was so well-received by locals and tourists alike, founders Jai and Marlies Hobbs decided to franchise the concept. 

A second site in the Brisbane suburb of Paddington opened earlier this year, and a third cafe at Sydney's Bondi Junction launched on 13 November. 

They are on a mission to educate Australians about the paleo diet, and will open a new franchise in Brisbane’s CBD on 20 November, as well as a North Lakes franchise before the end of the year.

The husband and wife team is also taking their brand south with a site on the Mornington Peninsula also set to open on 27 November. 

Marlies told Franchising a company-owned cafe will open in Townsville, franchisees have been secured for sites in Albury, Newcastle and Adelaide, and more are in negotiation for locations including the Sydney CBD, Gold Coast and Perth. 

"Our goal was to have 10 cafes sign up for 2013, and we have achieved this goal. Our goal is for a further 20 cafes in 2014 and again in 2015 – so a total of 50 cafes by the end of 2015," she said. 

"We are also currently setting ourselves up for international expansion into New Zealand, the USA, Canada and European Union." 

Despite only opening in July this year, Primal Pantry has decided to fast forward its expansion plans via franchising through a partnership with Aktiv Brands. 

Primal Pantry's founder, Mark Rockley believes franchising is the best way to protect the concept and retain the control of the menu, which is developed by paleo chef Tracey Hirst.

“We’ve worked hard on developing a menu and cafŽ concept that appeals to all people – not just the hardcore fitness set,” he said.

He added the restaurant’s success is attributable to its flavoursome paleo-friendly dishes, as well as peoples growing interest in the diet.  

“Paleo is growing in acceptance and popularity. Primal Pantry is successful because we’ve taken a nutritional philosophy and turned it into an appealing lifestyle,” Rockley said.  

What's on the menu?

The paleo (or palaeolithic) diet mimics the way our ancestors ate, and it is free from grains, legumes and dairy products.

Hobbs believes people are embracing the diet as they come to realise just how greatly the food they eat can influence their mood and overall health. 

"Paleo CafŽ provides a fresh, bright and personal experience where customers can enjoy nutritious, home cooked-style meals, educational resources and a convenient and well researched range of paleo products and supplies, so they can also enjoy living the paleo lifestyle at home," she explains. 

Both brands are out to prove the paleo diet is far from bland, and their menus incorporate a range of grain, legume and dairy free alternatives. 

The Paleo Cafe serves up breakfast items including:

  • A parfait of cruncy granola, coconut yoghurt and mixed berries
  • Double smoked bacon and free range eggs with spinach and sweet potato rosti
  • Banana pancakes with whipped coconut cream

At lunch, diners can expect to find:

  • A rocket, pear, beetroot and walnut salad with honey mustard dressing
  • Creamy coconut and lemongrass poached chicken with cauliflower rice and bok choy
  • Seared Tasmanian salmon with sweet potato and pumpkin mash, grilled asparagus spears, capers and lemon ghee

Primal Pantry is similarly open for breakfast and lunch, and it also offers a catering service.

Breakfast items include:

  • Cacao granola with berries and coconut cream
  • Paleo toast with avocado poached eggs and basil mayo
  • Caveman plate with smoked bacon, lamb, poached eggs, mushrooms, fresh spinach and raw tomatoes

The lunch menu is divided into three sections – bites, smaller and larger:

  • Seeded crackers with almond hummus
  • Crispy fish taco with avocado salsa and cress
  • BBQ beef ribs with petit apple and fennel salad

Top image: Primal Pantry
Bottom image: facebook.com/paleocafesydneybondijunction