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Bondi Bowls: Bringing Beachy Good Vibes To The City

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22 October 2020

Bondi Bowls have been catering lunches for the busy entrepreneurs, freelancers and businesses at our three Manchester Coworking spaces, with COVID-19 safety measures in place. We had a chat with the founder, Jamie, to get to learn more about his healthy fast food.

"Healthy Fast Food”. Doesn’t sound real does it? But in a world where “President Donald Trump” or ”bars & pubs to close to attempt to slow the second wave of a global pandemic” are all veritas headlines I guess it’s time to start believing.

One person who is putting his flag in the sand here and fork in the bowl is Jamie Tones. The well-travelled entrepreneur has worked in world class restaurants and recently helped launch Saltwater Fish Company and Porterhouse Butcher & Grill in Newcastle before deciding to start his own business, Bondi Bowls.

Grabbing the low hanging fruit by exporting its namesake’s beachy good vibes for surface level branding would be a disservice to the area Jamie is instead embracing the core mentality of. For him it is much more than a trendy food stuff. Bondi Bowls is about feeling good while being good. Bowls packed with superfoods and nutrient rich bites make for some of the tastiest healthy fast food we’ve had.

We had a chat, Jamie to Jamie, to get the heart of his mission.

Hey Jamie! Strange times to be starting a business eh? How did you get Bondi Bowls off the ground?

Well I’ve come from a background of hospitality, mainly Michelin star and fine dining but I always wanted to run my own business. I recently finished helping to launch Saltwater Fish Company and Porterhouse Butcher & Grill in Newcastle but once that was successful, I knew I needed a new challenge. I knew I wanted to do my own thing but I still wasn’t sure exactly what that was. I decided to move to Sydney to work for a year, absolutely loved it. I enjoyed the lifestyle so much, specifically Bondi Beach. Everyone wants to eat good, feel good and generally have good vibes. I wanted to try and capture that and bring that to rainy Manchester.

At the start of 2020 I pretty much had the idea sorted. I set myself the target of having my own bricks and mortar sort of store by then end of the year. Then, of course, the world changed. I had to adapt. But I think it’s kind of been a blessing in disguise in a way. I pushed the target for a physical shop to next year and started it as a delivery only business. I also do street food events which is great for developing the products. We’ve been able to progress what we offer and respond to feedback very quickly as a result.

Some people may struggle to get into healthy fast food. How are you getting people who arent already committed to eating healthily to try your product?

Well there’s people on all ends of the scale right? Some are at one end where they are meticulously counting calories, the macros and all that stuff but then sometimes you might just have had a few days of drinking and you need that nutrient kick. Everyone’s got their own thing going. I think the product I’m selling appeals to a lot of people because it’s fresh, affordable and tastes great.

Our menu is totally plant based then we have options to add salmon, chicken, feta etc. The idea being that each bowl is plant based without losing any flavour, texture or nutrients compared to if it were prepared in a more traditional sense. Essentially you probably won’t notice, and its something I almost forget about myself! So all our smoothies are made using plant based milks for example so whatever your diet you still feel at home at Bondi.

I know there’s hardcore meat eaters out there that wouldn’t set foot in a ‘Vegan’ restaurant and I totally get that. I guess I’m technically a flexitarian as I’ll still occasionally eat meat. A good example is our Caesar Bowl, I believe it’s just as good if not better than a traditional Caesar salad but ours is totally plant based and there’s no wacky ingredients you won’t have heard of and we’ll happily throw some chicken in there if you that’s what you fancy.

What makes the perfect Bowl?

For me it’s all about balance, in terms of flavours but also in terms of textures. A key thing is also the proteins, the carbs and the fats that we put on there can be looked at and gauged and noted down however much you want. I hate boring salads. Even something as simple as our Greek Bowl, it has a lovely coconut dressing and fresh herbs that make it exciting. Also, we eat with our eyes. Everything that is in there must be there for a reason, but it can look great too!

What does the future hold for Bondi Bowls?

I’m trying to take things step by step but I would love to scale the Bondi Bowls mission and bring it across the UK. Here in Manchester I want to open our first place in Ancoats. The area is full of vibrant and exciting businesses, so it makes sense to put our flag in the ground here. We take the future of our planet very seriously also though. Sustainability, I think it’s a minimum requirement for businesses now to take responsibility for what we’re contributing to our planet. We aim for zero food waste every single day, its pretty much impossible but I can’t wait to have that plastered on to our shop wall to remind all the staff of its importance. We of course carefully choose our packaging materials and make sure everything is at least compostable or recyclable, but we also encourage customers to reuse or return things like our glass bottles or canvas bags we’ve been providing. Our regular customers have been awesome in returning them but at the same time we love seeing people reusing their Bondi Bowls tote bag for their shopping or just walking around town too!

Jamie has been catering lunches for the busy entrepreneurs, freelancers and businesses at our three Manchester Coworking spaces, with COVID-19 safety measures in place. Check out his website www.bondibowls.co.uk or follow him on Instagram @bondibowlsuk.

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