When I realise the queue for Blendlove is already out the door when I line up to purchase my treats, my anxiety begins to rise. The people before and after me crane their necks; stand on the tip of their toes and lean out to check that their preferred dessert is still available. That’s when I spot it. There is only one White Chocolate and Caramel slice left. A cold sweat develops as I count the people in front of me hoping that they will choose any of the other slices on offer and leave me my precious. Then the unthinkable happens. Just when I feel it is safe the person in front of me orders the last one. “NO! I wanted that one!” the cry comes, not from my own disappointed self, but from the lady behind me. As the anxiety fades to despair and anger, suddenly a glimmer of hope appears in the form of newly cut squares of deliciousness. Hope springs fresh as I, and my fellow comrades see that we shall indeed be dining on our favourite treats today!
Riki Gilbert and Sharlene Fletcher are passionate about sharing their vision with others and are clearly onto a winner with their gluten, dairy and refined sugar free, raw vegan treats. Starting out in October 2013, healthy lifestyle advocates Riki and Shar quit their jobs and started making the aforementioned treats, which they sold at the Marina Mirage and Gold Coast Turf Club markets on the weekend. As their popularity grew through social media and word of mouth they decided to open the Blendlove café in January this year and haven’t looked back.
Situated on Ferry Road, Blendlove boasts an open and warm environment with plenty of different seating indoors and out. With a large cold cabinet, diners are able to gaze at the slices and salads available before placing their order, which can become quite dangerous as it is difficult to stop at just one of the scrumptious looking treats.
With over a dozen different slice flavours on offer each day I gather a group of friends together in order to sample as many as possible and quickly discover that we all have a favourite. Mine is clearly the White Chocolate Caramel with its flavour packed base, smooth filling and crunchy raw cacao nib garnish. The Chocolate Raspberry is a crowd pleaser with its silky smooth chocolate filling and decadent tang of raspberry. The Banoffe slice is decreed an “explosion of flavours”, whilst the Peppermint is refreshing with a nice crunch. In speaking of their favourite treats Riki loves the texture of the Bounty slice, whilst Shar is obsessed with the chocolatey, crunchy and nutty Snickers. The generously portioned slices are $7 each and are also available in the popular box specials of 3 for $20, 6 for $36 and 10 for $60.
If you are not a sweet tooth, don’t despair! Blendlove has some savoury options that are equally as popular including the delicious smashed avo or balsamic tomato and hummus on toasted rye sourdough ($14), the mountainous veggie burger ($15) or your choice of salads with four offered on a daily basis changing with the availability of produce (up to two choices for $12). The Thai peanut salad of rocket, carrot and cabbage is finished with a tasty, sweet and savoury peanut sauce and is an obvious crowd favourite, but the one I will definitely be returning for is the zoodle salad. Green and sweet with rocket, zoodles (zucchini noodles) and a gorgeous basil, avocado, lemon and kale dressing, it is the perfect balance of flavours.
Shar and Riki have proudly created all the Blendlove treat recipes themselves and everything that they sell is made fresh that day in house, or is sourced from local producers with ingredients depending on seasonal availability. Moving into winter they will be offering more hot meals and will maintain their strictly preservative-free menu.
Beverage wise, Blendlove offers a range of teas, cold pressed juices from The Cleanse Kitchen, generously sized freshly made smoothies, and coffee made on a Supreme Coffee Roasters blend that was specifically made to match the desserts and bring out their flavours. In pairing my slice of choice with a piccolo and a long black the flavours are indeed enhanced, bringing out the various sweet elements without becoming overwhelming. In fact, it’s quite possibly perfection.
With Shar and Riki looking to expand I can only hope they open up another store closer to my end of the coast.
Blendlove is open Monday to Saturday, 7am to 3pm. If you are looking for a guilt-free sweet treat, or deliciously fresh vegan savouries, then Blendlove just became your new local.