Flannery’s Refuel Depot

Shop 18, Easy T Centre, 514 Christine Ave., Robina Ph: 07 5562 0633

“Have a positive attitude towards your goals, open your heart to other people, and take care what you put into your body,” Ironman Trevor Hendy is preaching to the converted at the opening of Flannery’s Refuel Depot in Robina.

Tony Denoon and Suzy Fogarty opened their franchised Flannery’s Natural and Organic Supermarket at the Easy T Centre Robina in 2006. It’s one of the most beloved Flannery’s stores on the Gold Coast, with attractive displays and great service. As their passion for healthy living grew, they saw the need for a fully organic store with food to go, and so, after 18 months of planning and development, the Refuel concept was born as an extension of the Flannery’s brand.

When invited for a visit, we found the store brimming with goodness: shelves packed with fresh organic fruit and vegetables, fridges stacked with raw cold-pressed organic juices, salads and ready to go meals and raw sweet treats, while smoothies and coffees are made to order. It’s a one stop shop for everything organic to buy, pick up or make and take; the first of its kind in Queensland.

I grew up with the notion that our body was a temple to be treated with care. Translated into adulthood, for me that means that this is the vehicle I’m using to travel the journey, so I want it to go as well and as far as possible. Fortunately, many others share this quest for good fuel.

The shop is frequented by people interested in health and convenience. We all want to be healthy, but by the time we fit in work, other duties and social life, how much time is left for ourselves?

Convenience! I think back through the week to the quinoa salad I made a few days ago. Somehow that single cup of quinoa had stretched over three days until the chooks enjoyed the dregs. It never seems possible for me to make just a small amount of something, even when I only want a taste, and I’m allergic to throwing food out. The time investment in shopping, soaking, activating adds up, all for that single bowl of salad I wanted in the first place.

How much more convenient it would be to pick up a bowl which had just been made, to try new healthy food, while breaking down the cost and convenience barriers! At around $20 for a lunch and juice to go, it’s a walk in, walk out operation, handing over the dollars in exchange for goodness and their time (not mine)!

I especially like the cold pressed organic juices to go ($8.95), so I tried several combinations from the taster tub before making my choice. The juices keep for four days in the fridge, so they’re a great takeaway as well.

I asked Chef Matt Dixon (ex Gwingana and RPR’s) about the depot’s clientele and menu:

“We get a whole range of people here who want to be healthy: serious athletes, those into crossfit, surf lifesavers and personal trainers, people who have had cancer and choose to eat 100% organic, and families interested in a healthy lifestyle.”

As I get a quick tour of the kitchen he tells me, “We make all our own ferments and pickles, sushi is made daily, and at the end of each day staff take home the leftovers! [Lucky staff!] Here – take a look at this vegan labneh. It’s made from coconut! [Where else could I sample this product to know whether I like it or not, without the laborious time investment of making it!]

As we come into summer, we’re moving into a different range of produce, so some of our products will change. There will be summer puddings, for example, cold rice puddings with pineapple, mango, ginger and fresh coconut.

Every morning I come to work and there’s the smell of green, the smell of freshness as I enter the shop. The best thing about working here is that we have been really well received by the general public.”

Matt smiles. Behind us, staff at the ‘liquid assets’ station are busy making fresh protein smoothies, a customer is handed an açai bowl and the baristas are pumping out coffee to go. It’s fair trade organic coffee from Kiva Han Roasting at Mermaid, a smooth flat white with a good crema and no hint of bitterness; one of the best we’ve had in a while.

It’s true that health and convenience don’t come cheap. But neither does ill-health! In financial terms, it’s about investing in assets, not liabilities.

“Head, heart, body,” Trevor Hendy reminds us. I’ve got the first two sorted. Now, about that walk…


Read more of Marj’s reviews at http://www.foodgoldcoast.com.au

DISCLAIMER: Marj was a guest of Flannery’s Refuel Depot.

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