Rhubarb & Lime, a local retro-chic coffee shop and restaurant, will present a special health-based menu at the SPAR Goodnight Market in the Tramways Building in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.
Head chef and owner Bergen Gill said visitors could look forward to Buddha “Bali” bowls with hot bean salsa, tzatziki and falafels, a gourmet salad station, wraps, pita pockets and vegan and gluten-free sweet treats.
“Plant-based eating has really hit the scene hard in the past few years and its ever-evolving recipes are new and exciting. We’ve found that these options have been really popular and well received,” she said.
Gill, who established the St George’s Park-based restaurant after her return from a one-year working contract in the United Kingdom in 2009, said they would showcase a small part of what Rhubarb was about at the market.
“We try to keep ‘on trend’ with new flavours, but also stay loyal to our old favourites.
“A new product launching soon is our ‘Turbo Bomb Frappe’, which is a vegan-friendly iced drink of espresso, turmeric, almonds and cinnamon.”
Situated where they are in the Friendly City, their main target market has been the businesses in the area.
“Our menus are updated regularly so the response from our customers is well received. We provide comment cards and really try to use the feedback positively.”
Gill, who studied to be a chef at Warwick’s Chef Training School in Hermanus, previously worked for a local eatery in the city but started doing food markets on the side.
“Baking from my mom’s kitchen, Rhubarb & Lime first specialised in gourmet quiches, pies and decadent cupcakes, which was a great success.
“When I fell pregnant with my son in 2011 I thought it was time to live out my dream of owning my own coffee shop. With blood sweat and (many) tears, and the financial backing of my dad, I opened it in September the following year and haven’t looked back since.”
She added that after being involved with food markets for about seven years she took a break from them as juggling the restaurant, a toddler and market set-ups was “getting a bit too hectic”.
“We are very excited and super ready to be involved with the Goodnight and Valley Market and look forward to many more in the future.
“We hope to achieve some positive feedback and advertising and steer customers to our flagship store in Park Lane. We just want them to eat good food and enjoy the Rhubarb experience.”
The market, which also presents live entertainment and a special whiskey tasting area by TOPS at SPAR, invites visitors to bring a bottle of wine and a group of friends as they enjoy the variety of artisan foods on offer. Doors open at 5pm with the R20 entrance fee going towards the Love Story charity organisation.
CAPTIONS: Rhubarb & Lime Café’s head chef and owner Bergen Gill is looking forward to sharing good food and experiences with SPAR Goodnight Market visitors on Thursday. Photo: Tamarin Evans