Co-owner of Brio Emporium.
Co-owner of Brio Emporium.
Atlanta Fowler is the local lass bringing healthy eating back to the Gold Coast in a big way with three thriving health food cafes on the go and several more in the pipeline.
Co-owner of Brio Emporium, with stores at The Oasis Shopping Centre in Broadbeach, on the highway in Broadbeach and at Treetops Plaza in Burleigh, Atlanta Fowler is passionate about showing people that nourishing food can be tasty too.
We sat down for a chat with Atlanta about how to kick start a health and wellness journey and plans for a few new Brio Emporiums in 2019.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I have lived on the Gold Coast on and off for 30 years; both Mark and I went to primary and secondary school here. Despite spending time living in amazing places like the Whitsundays and Florida, the GC is always home.
What do you love most about our city?
The weather, the beaches and the cities laid back, outdoorsy lifestyle makes the Gold Coast an epic place to live if you appreciate your health. This is also probably why there are so many incredible health businesses here. Mark and I spent a couple of years living in Brisbane and really felt like our health suffered because of it. To be able to walk along the beach and even sneak in a swim before you start work is a blessing we don’t ever take for granted.
How did Brio Emporium come about?
In 2014 when we were living in Brisbane for business reasons, we really struggled to find anywhere local to eat or shop that suited our needs. We would find ourselves driving to one side of Brisbane for grass-fed organic meat, the other side of Brisbane for gluten free this or that, and when it came to finding a dining out or takeaway food option, there was absolutely nothing at the time. Mark had an extensive background in both health and wellness and food production so when a cafe site in Broadbeach was randomly offered to him by someone he knew, he made the decision instantly to trial the business we had long been dreaming about and, the very first Brio was born! A cafe and health market hybrid serving up the Gold Coasts first taste of bone broths and Bulletproof coffees to a very warm welcome. Turns out we weren’t the only ones who needed a Brio in our lives.
For people kick-starting their health and wellness, what tips do you have for eating well?|Eat more good fat. Everyone knows to be healthier you need to really watch sugar content in foods but if you eat chicken breast and broccoli every day you will have no energy. Increase fat content with lots of olive oil, avocados and fattier cuts of grass-fed meats to boost the energy and watch the body fat melt away. Eat a whole-food diet. This simply means avoid anything in packets and eat a varied and colourful combination of produce that was grown or raised rather than manufactured. Reduce your eating windows. The old theory that grazing all day is good for us is definitely out! Instead consider implementing intermittent fasting. The easiest way to do this is simply not eat in the morning (a Bulletproof Coffee can really help with this transition) and only eat lunch and dinner. This has been shown to not only boost fat metabolism but improve overall health and wellness”.
What’s your favourite sugar free treat from the Brio menu?
That is a really tough question, but seeing as we are in the middle of another scorching GC Summer it would have to be either one of our epic FATBOY sundaes made using our own in house Keto ice cream, or our low carb acai bowls. These are lower fructose, completely banana free acai bowls made on tangy berries, loaded with good fat from coconut yoghurt and raw cacao and smothered in our Keto fudge.
What’s the plan for the rest of 2019 for you?
2019 is already shaping up to be a big one for the Fowlers and Brio Food Group. For Brio Emporium we have store number four opening in March and also plan to secure our first Brisbane location before the year is out – which is super exciting! Our loyal Brisbane customers have been on our back about this for years so we can’t wait to finally deliver the goods for them up that way. For Meadow & Marrow we have some really cool new product releases happening this quarter – Mark has been working tirelessly on these for a few months now and we can’t wait for them to hit the shelves. On a personal note we hope to finally get around to planning our honeymoon this year (we were married last March right before we opened our Burleigh & Oasis stores)… fingers crossed!
Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Restaurant: We are huge fans of Asian cuisine and fresh seafood because generally it’s super clean and you don’t have to worry about hidden nasties like gluten, dairy or refined sugars. Right now our fave spot would be Jimmy Wahs for sure.
Cafe: If not calling into one of our own stores for breakfast the only other place we frequent is BSKT. We absolutely love what they do – authentic, great quality, healthy food. It is the only other cafe we know with certainty that we can visit without having to worry about hidden gluten or dairy.
Beach: Mark and I are both major beach lovers – we try to get there at least a few times a week and generally just go to our local at Mermaid. However for sentimental reasons I will say Miami – this particular beach is super close to our hearts as this is where Mark proposed NYE 2015.
How does your weekend usually look? Between overseeing Brio and our other business Meadow & Marrow Bone Broths we tend to still work most Saturdays, though generally Saturday work is the fun stuff like creating content for social media or driving to Brisbane or Byron looking for the next Brio site. When you love what you do it never seems like work and we both struggle to NOT work on weekends. However we do always make time to get to the beach and our Sunday morning ritual is always breakfast at one of our stores.
Never let it be said that the Gold Coast is solely a city of sparkles and sunshine. No friends, there is also healthy food and hipsters and the odd winter morning wrapped in three blankets, burrito-style.
Today though, we’re here to chat healthy food and in particular, that of Brio Emporium who, just last week, opened the doors to their second venue in beautiful Burleigh Heads. The health café and food market, which took Broadbeach by storm a few shorts years ago, have chosen Treetops Plaza as their new home and judging by the constant lines out the door, it was a good one.
It’s a corner space, all bright whites with pops of orange, shelves of tasty (next-level healthy) goodies to take home and an outdoor area filled with early morning sunshine. The premise of Brio Emporium is simple, they offer a low carb, high fat menu filled with gut-friendly goodness that will literally make you glow from the inside out.
Owners Atlanta and Mark Fowler have amassed a huge foodie fan base due to their ketogenic (low carb) offerings that are both good for you and extremely delicious.
Packed with choose-your-own-adventure style protein bowls, gut-healing bone broths, raw smoothies and bowls and Keto shakes, you can pat yourself on the back after a feast at Brio.
Recommendations come in the form of a grass-fed savoury mince Breakfast Bowl with free-range, dairy free scrambled eggs, smashed avo, baby spinach and Paleo scatter.
For lunch don’t go past the grass fed beef brisket Protein Bowl with cauliflower rice, raw broccoli cashew crunch, fermented veggies and kimchi because it is a nourishing, taste sensation.
All bowls are buildable and there are plenty of proteins, salads and extras to choose from.
Add a cup of Free Range Chicken Bone Broth to boost the old immune system and throw in a Bulletproof Coffee for good measure.
If all that healthiness has you craving something sweet, add one of Brio’s famous Fatboy Sundaes which is actually a fat burning dessert and how has this never been a thing in our lives until now?
Choose an ice cream flavour then have it covered in smashed cookies, chocolate bars, kibble and topping. It’s all Keto friendly and it’s all so yummy.
Word on the street is that Brio Emporium is opening a third location at The Oasis Shopping Centre pretty soon so there’s even more reason to jump on that healthy food bandwagon (if you’re not already of course).
Get down to Burleigh and give ‘em some love.
LOCATION: Treetops Plaza, 7 Classic Way, Burleigh Heads
HOURS: 6.30am until 4pm daily
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
Everyone’s favourite beachside wholefoods café is upping the ante on their already mouthwatering menu, adding new dishes to nourish you from the inside out now that winter has us in her clutches.
Fuelling the health food revolution on the Gold Coast, BSKT has been wholeheartedly embraced by locals since opening exactly four years ago this week. The ocean views certainly help, so does being located in the foodie hub that is Nobby’s Beach but the obsession is largely due to the food – BSKT is passionate about providing the highest quality wholefoods in the tastiest possible way.
New additions are no exception of course enhancing the already jam-packed menu and giving you even more anxiety over which delicious dish to order.
First and most importantly is Adam’s Porridge Bowl filled with coconut and banana soaked gluten free oats, sticky mango, quinoa and black sesame chards and infused with chai spices. Proceeds from this dish go to former BSKT Chef Adam Begic’s ongoing recovery from a motorbike accident that tragically left him paraplegic.
New breakfast dish number two is the MVP Pancakes – buckwheat and banana pancakes with wild berry compote, vegan honeycomb and coconut icecream. MVP indeed.
For lunch there’s two new smaller dishes. The Keuben Quesadilla is made with a low carb Keto tortilla, corned beef, house made sauerkraut, pickles, Gruyere cheese and Russian dressing. If you’re after something a little lighter, there’s a Poke Bowl with fresh salmon cuts, pickled ginger, zucchini noodles, avocado, edamame, organic brown rice and spicy sesame soy sauce.
In need of something a little larger? Krab Tacos are made up of tapioca dusted soft shell crab, Asian slaw, bean sprouts, fresh coriander, wakame and Chipotle Mayonnaise on grilled tortillas and Spicy Korean Stew is a steamy bowl of oyster mushrooms, bean sprouts, shallots, pac choy, fermented red peppers and stewed chicken.
All delicious and all radiating the freshest and healthiest of vibes. Exactly what you need when everyone around you is reaching for the tissues.
LOCATION: 4 Lavarack Rd, Mermaid Beach
HOURS: 7am to 4pm Monday to Thursday and 7am to 10pm Friday to Sunday.
Words and photos by Kirra Smith.