Born out of a burning desire to bring good nutrition to the masses, qualified Nutritionist and Co-Owner of Nourish David Stache opened the first Nourish on Pinstone Street in October of 2013. Nourish is a somewhat unique addition to the city of Sheffield, offering healthy fast food.
With nutritional content at the heart of their menu the ease of finding something suitable for Coeliacs is unlike many other restaurants I’ve come across so far on my gluten free travels. Everything on their menu is helpfully labelled, with GF indicating an item which is gluten free, a system implemented long before the arrival of the new labelling laws. As far as choice goes there is a vast selection to umm and ahh over but if their designated gluten free food is not enough to choose from, some dishes are gluten adaptable, just ask!
“We get some people who come in who are a bit nervous about asking for something gluten free and they’ll just look for the gluten free symbol. But when you actually speak to them, which is something we try to do, to really engage with our customers, they’ll say: ‘Umm, I’m looking for something that’s gluten free?’ And we get people who, once we’ve talked them through the menu, they’re completely overwhelmed and have actually left because they’ve ‘never been given this much choice!’”
Perhaps, like me, you’re thinking, ‘but wait, if you have a good labelling system and have menu items that can be adapted to be gluten free why is there not a symbol for that?’
“We’ve been pretty careful with the symbols so I think it would be easier if instead of adding another symbol to put something on the menu throughout that said: ‘Certain options can me made gluten free, just ask?’ Or ‘All wraps can be made Gluten Free’”
Unfortunately, at the time of publication, Nourish have not yet been able to source gluten free wraps but David is very keen to use them in the future, “I would love to have a wrap that’s gluten free, that’s commercially viable and tastes great as well. Generally, they don’t taste as good and they don’t hold as well.”
Nourish seem committed to providing good quality food and with regards to gluten free breads have tested various options from local bakeries to the market leaders. However in the future perhaps they will be making their own.
“We have said that in the future we will produce our own breads and wraps etc. and we would do gluten free ones as well. That’s a plan to move towards, to become self sufficient. It’d be lovely to have our own farms, in an idealistic kind of world.”
And when you really look at them they are an idealistic kind of company and perhaps that’s what makes them so appealing. For now, in terms of wraps, any wrap featured on the menu can be made on Genius bread instead.
So far so good, Nourish have got a lot of gluten free choices, which are healthy and won’t break the bank. But as every Coeliac will know, it’s not always the food itself but the preparation process where gluten can sneak in.
“The gluten free industry is probably the fastest growing sector of the food industry at the moment. Not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing if I’m honest. There’s a lot of scaremongering that’s going on about gluten free more people are eating gluten free diets that need to. Which is a shame because it blurs the whole understanding of what it’s like for someone with Coeliac Disease.”
“It’s the people with Coeliac Disease who really do need to make sure that companies as well as others understand what their needs are.”
With David at the helm there is no need to worry about cross contamination as he understands the severity of Coeliac Disease and has drilled that into all his staff.
“If something slips out of a contamination area, a knife say, that knife doesn’t just get washed, it doesn’t get used for the rest of the day. Instead we get a new one out. When preparing gluten free food we use a completely new toaster, a mat that never gets used for anything other than gluten free products, we have a table downstairs in the kitchen which is sectioned off just for gluten free products to be made on.”
“It’s not just because of that one percent with Coeliac Disease but more and more people are eating a gluten free diet. If we weren’t doing it, then who are we to tell people that we know about public health. We’re trying to set a standard that we think other businesses should step up to, especially if they’re going to offer gluten free, they need to do it properly.”
The future of Nourish looks bright with a new branch soon to be opened in Leeds, we can expect to see big things from them over the next few years. Here’s the final word on Nourish from David:
I think it’s important for people to understand that we are a business but we’re not a business that just wants to make money, we want to make a difference as well. So that’s what we’re going to keep trying to do, more of that. More stores, more people aware, more education.