Seedling Cafe


Strolling down Melbourne’s iconic Flinders Lane, the air is electric with the buzz of the city, clanging of cutlery and the aroma of freshly brewed coffee.

It’s a foodies haven.

But the endless rows of classic café fare like croissants and muffins leave the gluten-free diner feeling a little unwelcome. And hungry.

That’s what planted the seed for one of the first paleo-inspired cafes on Melbourne’s famed café strip.

Seedling Café is the creation of Giles Legg and his gluten-intolerant girlfriend, Olivia Tsen, who opened their café after growing frustrated at their lack of safe options.

Giles, who has 10 years of experience in hospitality, also has a sensitivity to gluten, so the pair enjoy a clean, paleo diet of fresh whole foods, naturally gluten and lactose free.

“In the last few years I have become much more aware of what I eat, the nutritional value and how it makes me feeI,” says Giles.

Seedling Café opened its doors in August 2014, catering to coeliacs, gluten and lactose intolerant, vegans, paleo eaters, fitness enthusiasts and those

simply looking for a healthier treat.

The café has also become a hit with people who don’t realise it’s good for them.

“There are plenty of customers who come to the café who are eating well unconsciously, which is really inspiring for us,” says Giles.

“They may not know the chocolate brownie is actually gluten and dairy free, and full of nutrients, they just think it tastes delicious.”

On the Seedling Café menu are signature baked items like the Paleo Banana Bread, Paleo Muesli, Frittatas, Raspberry and Coconut Friands and a Paleo Pumpkin Bread served with baked eggs.

Gluten-free bread is sourced from artisan breadmaker Black Ruby while salads provide a quick, easy and nutritious alternative to ‘fast food’.

Increasingly popular are Seedling Café’s raw and vegan treats. Also gluten free, the range includes a Paleo Chocolate Brownie, Tiramisu, Power Balls, Coconut Chia Pudding and Raw Caramel Slice.

All menu items and ingredients are clearly labelled too, allowing those with strict dietary requirements to make decisions with confidence and ease.

“I believe food is meant to nourish our bodies, providing the essential nutrients we need to stay healthy, think clearly and live well,” says Giles.

“I am also seeing a shift in our society – people are better educated about food and being more mindful about what they eat.”

Giles says the choice to eat healthier food is simple when it doesn’t compromise on taste.

“We don’t ram the gluten free, paleo or health messages down hard – but people seeking that food can clearly see all the options and will be looking out for it as they walk to work or the gym.

“When we are given the option of fresh whole food and feeling good as a result, regardless of food intolerances, why wouldn’t you choose that?“

Seedling Café: 275 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

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