A BOUTIQUE owner has made the move from fashion to food in her new business.
Luisa Minchella, who ran designer clothes shop Aria, is the owner of Happy Organic in Cleadon Village, South Tyneside.
She said: “I am now in my final third year of studying to be a nutritionist at the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London and I will graduate this year.
“I have always been fascinated with how the human body works and amazed that by using the right foods can really transform your well-being.
“The course really has inspired me and there is nothing quite like this complete healthy and environmental concept in the area.”
The cafe and store is aiming to completely embrace as many environmentally-friendly ideals as possible. Luisa is using recycled paper and packaging for her flyers, posters and packaging, and in some cases will be using the backs of other companies’ flyers. She is using vegetable ink for the printing.
She said: “One of my biggest selling points is the business will have real charm and character from day one, as I have embraced a true environmental feel throughout the business.
“Many of the kitchen appliances and units have been recycled from other restaurants and businesses and some of the lighting is made of colanders or have come from a disused train station.
“There are 100-year-old milk crates and you also can sit on church pews.”
In addition to organic food, the store stocks gluten-free, dairy free and wheat free products, plus vegetables, eggs, fish and fruit being sourced from around the North East.
Luisa said: “Happy Organic will be a healthy destination for people to meet and eat knowing that all of the produce and ingredients are high in nutrition. This is not just for the local community but also for people in the region, with a café and a specialist store selling local, organic and natural products.” Happy Organic is acting as a centre for Northumbria Organic Growers, so customers will be able to order vegetable boxes for home delivery at the centre.
Luisa is now planning to a range of interactive games and challenges for primary schoolchildren with fun and games to encourage them to lead a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
She received help and support in launching the business from Tedco in South Tyneside.