A healthy, tasty lunch delivered to your office with no packaging, no waste, and no compromises on ingredients; that’s what Ella Bertie-Roberts and Tanya Vee were looking for back when they were busy project managers in the digital field. “It was hard to find healthy options that used free-range meat, and there wasn’t much choice if you went vegetarian instead,” says Tanya. She started making her own lunches in jars and from there it was a short step to creating JarBar.
Salads and soup
The gorgeous layered salads and hearty soups delivered in re-usable mason jars to offices around the City Bowl (and as far as Woodstock and Green Point), have caught on so quickly that Ella and Tanya have now left their jobs and are making a full-time business of it. For winter, the salads are substantial and creative, full of flavour and loaded with roast vegetables, pulses or meats. I took home the Butternut Betty for supper and, on Tanya’s recommendation, plated the top layer of leaves before heating up the base layer of lentils soaked in dressing, roast butternut, feta, tomatoes and macadamia nuts, then tipping them out onto the leaves for a warm and sustaining meal. The pulled pork and bean soup was another good winter warmer: spiced with chilli and with plenty of interesting texture, a dollop of sour cream and chives keeping the palate entertained.
The website makes it very easy to order. Sign up for an account, peruse the next week’s menu and choose between a soup and a salad – different ones each day of the week. There are always meat, vegetarian and vegan options, and each month new recipes are added as the seasons change. Sustainability is big on the JarBar agenda – you pay a once-off deposit on your jar and return it when your next one is delivered; you order whatever takes your fancy for the week in advance (the photos and mouth-watering descriptions make it hard to resist ordering everything), so the JarBar team know exactly how much to cater for, minimising food wastage. And, best of all, they source quality local ingredients, with free-range, ethically raised meat, and everything freshly cooked each day.
Words: Kit Heathcock | Images: Supplied