Words: Catherine Black | Images: Supplied
After leaving the corporate world, Claire Du Preez launched Honest Food Store, a humble eatery in the heart of Hyde Park, last February. Her focus then, as it is now, is on healthy food and friendly service rather than an over-the-top showcase. Located on the poolside deck of the upscale One Hyde Park development, Honest Food Store is a sunny gem of a café that offers a welcome pocket of serenity amid the Joburg rat race. We spoke to Claire to find out more.
Tell us more about your “Honest” concept?
We want to cater to Honest people – to those who have no hang-ups or pretentious displays of eating. These days, there seems to be a culture of “buy what I’m sold” rather than “buy what I know”. But consumers need to ask more questions. That’s why we’re transparent – honest – about our ingredients, our suppliers and our food preparation. We’re a small team with an even smaller kitchen, so everything needs to be fresh and prepared daily. At any time, you can chat to our head chef Chanda about how your meal was prepared. Our cooking methods substitute a lot of the everyday ingredients with healthier alternatives, which makes things challenging but worthwhile. For example, making the perfect sugar-free, gluten-free, sweet potato brownie made with coconut flour took some trial and error.
How has your store evolved since it opened?
Our kitchen is small, and because of this our menu had to be very simple. We started with cold pressed juices, health wraps and super sandwiches, which are the average grab-and-go options. As demand grew and our knowledge of the industry flourished, we restructured our menu and our dishes to be a collection of unique and humble comfort foods with a healthy twist. These days, we’ve expanded our offering to things like superfood lattes, single origin coffees, plant-based dishes and decadent sugar-free deserts.
What are some of your favourite dishes on your menu?
Breakfasts are the sunshine of our cafe. We like to think that all our food hits a special spot, but this month I’m obsessed with our Green Veg Breakfast Bowl and our Quinoa and Baby Marrow Fritters. I wash it down with one of our vegan grilled cherry milkshakes.
Honest Food Store
076 743 9033