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.