All about fresh for Gympie's Farmer & Sun
SHARLA Watson says being gluten intolerant has had a huge influence on the menu choices at Farmer & Sun Cafe.
"Keeping up with trends is really easy because I eat that way myself,” Ms Watson said.
The cafe adjoins the hugely popular Farmer & Sun farmer's market and manager Ms Watson said using local produce was paramount.
"Using fresh produce just adds so much flavour,” she said.
"We have over 90 different suppliers.”
In addition to fresh produce the cafe delights in providing paleo, vegan and vegetarian alternatives as well as sugar, nut, dairy and gluten-free options on the menu.
The aim of the company is to use local produce whenever possible and the current special, the Vanilla Chai Frappe, is made from tea from Sunshine Chai.
The coffee is an organic, Fair Trade blend called Botanica, and Ms Watson picked it for its smooth taste.
At present, one of Ms Watson's favourite menu items, aside from the cafe's coffee, is its range of frittatas.
The paleo-vegetarian frittata is made from free range eggs from a farm at Tandur and is gluten and dairy free.
The chorizo and pumpkin frittata is gluten free and made with chorizo sourced from local butcher McIntosh Meats.
The thing Ms Watson liked most about the cafe business was going into the shop and cooking.
"I just come in and cook. I knew how to cook, now I just have to keep up with demand,” she laughed.
And demand for Farmer & Sun delicacies is high, with the staff increasing from four to 10 since the cafe opened on June 1 last year.
One temptation that goes really well with a cup of coffee is the lemon tea-cake. This gluten and dairy-free delight is on special for $4 a slice and almost walking out the door.
Another favourite is the Summer Delight Juice made from local cold-pressed stone fruit including peaches, nectarines, mangoes, oranges and passionfruit.
Plans for the business are to look into doing daily breakfasts and homemade sorbets made from Cooloola Milk.
Ms Watson would like more room to expand on the burger side of the business which has been gaining momentum since May, and also to open a tapas bar.
"I'd love to expand but where do we go to?” she said.
She also wanted to expand into catering, which was a demand that surprised her.