The Garden Hale
The Garden Hale has just celebrated its second birthday. In the last couple of years, this healthy eating café has established itself as a welcome addition to the local foodie scene. So Altrincham recently caught up with The Garden co-founder Kate to hear about how her interest in health and wellbeing evolved into this successful business.
Having spent time working in a corporate environment and a few years as a primary school teacher, Kate discovered a passion for yoga. In 2014 she went to Bali to train as a yoga teacher – an experience that proved to be a turning point in her life. Students on the month-long teaching course were not prohibited from eating anything or from drinking alcohol. However, they were advised that drinking alcohol would affect the quality of the experience so Kate decided to abstain.
When the course had finished and she had returned home, Kate felt that she was ‘floating on air’! She was reluctant to sacrifice the new feeling that came with her increased practice of yoga and a healthy diet for the sake of alcohol or fast food and this made her decide to prioritise her own wellbeing through her lifestyle choices. Kate started on a journey that would eventually lead her to following a mainly plant based diet. Having always been someone who simply didn’t enjoy eating red meat her decision to follow a plant based diet was a gradual journey spanning a few years, firstly cutting out chicken, followed by cutting out dairy and eggs and finally stopping eating fish.
In 2013 Kate, and good friend Amy who shared similar interests and who would become her partner in The Garden. Through the misfortune of seeing a close family member affected by cancer, Amy had researched and seen the benefits of an alkaline diet. The theory is that if the body’s ph balance is too acidic an environment is created that encourages the development of illness, including cancer. Alkaline foods include green vegetables and sprouting grains, whilst fish and meat are considered acidic. An acidic body state is further encouraged by stress, lack of sleep. The alkaline diet encourages the 80/20 rule – 80% alkaline and 20% acidic.
The Garden offers delicious, healthy and earth friendly food
Inspired by this knowledge and keen to share with others the opportunity to live a healthier life, Amy and Kate decided to set up their own business. Amy is an excellent cook and so combining her skills with Kate’s interest in nutrition and healthy living seemed to be a good way forwards and the idea of a healthy eating café was born. The location of Hale was easy as they were both residents.
Although both Amy and Kate naturally eat more plant based meals, neither of them are militant in their approach to food and diet. They believe in creating balance and finding what works for you. They don’t label themselves or attach themselves to a specific diet. They eat what they think their bodies need and that just so happens to be a lot of healthy nutritious food - but treats are allowed too!
The Garden offers a menu which is organic, plant based and largely alkaline. However, organic chicken and sustainable wild fish are available and no food groups are excluded. Kate and Amy’s considered approach to diet is not just about the effects of choices upon the body but also on the whole planet. The Menu at The Garden is earth friendly, with consideration given to the means of production and transportation involved in the food that they serve.
Not only is the Garden team developing a loyal following in Hale but at the beginning of November they took their delicious bliss balls, cold pressed juices, raw cheesecakes, superfood salads and wholemeal wraps and opened a pop-up shop in Selfridges in Manchester. Another great opportunity for The Garden team to communicate their message of delicious and earth friendly food choices to a wider market.
The Garden pop-up in Selfridges, Manchester
The Garden is not just a café but also a hub and generator of opportunities and ideas for healthy living. In July, Amy and Kate launched a series of Supper Clubs with the first session focused on Sugar followed by October’s Supper Club Winter Wellness. Local holistic health coach, Suzie Glaskie of Hale-based Peppermint Wellness gave advice on getting through the dark months of winter with a healthy sleep regime. In house juice therapist and Kate’s sister, Laura Donovan, talked about juicing over winter for a healthy immune system, whilst Hale Barns based Loving Foods, presented the health benefits of fermented foods. January’s Supper Club will be focused on the benefits of cleansing and detoxifying the body.
Regular yoga classes are available
The Garden will be holding a mindfulness course in January in conjunction with Dr Lucie Rutter. There are also regular yoga classes twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday mornings with Sarah and Jane Lawrence of The Yoga Kula (previously Green Tara Yoga).
For more details of events, menus and articles about healthy eating visit The Garden website here