A totally organic bakery which makes everything from bread to cakes, from raw treats, pies and French pastries to organic coffee? Yes. Welcome to Vivre a Vie!
Vivre a Vie opened in Mermaid Beach recently, a modern continental bakery café where you can take your dairy free, gluten free, and sugar free friends, or even your vegan and vegetarian ones and be assured that there will be options for everyone.
It’s first and foremost a bakery, rather than a café, with owner Lara Forsyth-Madden telling us that they don’t want to stray too far from their original concept. So don’t expect bacon and eggs at breakfast time or full meals at lunch. Do expect tarts, quiches, pies, French sandwiches, as well as a range of cakes and slices, some raw, many gluten-free. Check out the full menu here.
In summary, it’s a deliciously beautiful little shop making organic artisan baked products at reasonable prices, considering that everything is organic and handmade.
In colours of bark and leaves, earth and wood, it’s as though nature has taken a step inside. Furniture of hewn wood and hessian are placed against faux cracked paint overlooked by a beautiful wooden ceiling fan and crystalline pendant on a timber-lined ceiling. It’s a tiny but peaceful space where diners gather for a cake and coffee or a baguette and organic juice.
Everything is handmade, with back to basics baking, the breads and pastries light and tasty, attesting to the pastry chef’s craftsmanship.
Cabinets and baskets carry baked goods, including sourdough, spelt bread, the popular 7 ancient grain loaf, vegan pastries $4 – $7, almond croissants and chocolate Danish. (Being picky, we’d love to see the Pain au Chocolat attributed its country of origin – France, rather than swapping countries to become a ‘Chocolate Danish’!) Raw treats, such as raw snickers bar, beetroot and chocolate cake, and the delicious raspberry and cacao slice occupy a shelf of their own. There are even treats for the kids, the organic smarties made using vegetable-based colourings taken from beetroot and carrot!
Orders are taken at the counter. Find a table and wait for your name to be called. There is no table service at all, so ‘name calling’ is the single irritation that breaks the peace and flow of an otherwise beautiful place. It’s not until later that we discover the backyard, no doubt the reason you need to take your order with you!
The organic house blend coffee, organic of course, is made from Columbian Excelso beans blended with Budan Beans’ Nicaraguan, served in double layered insignia glass cups. The brew carries shades of lemon and smooth caramel with a crisp toasty finish – quite yummy! You can also enjoy juices from Parkers, including a caffeine-free cola or an organic tea. Vivre a Vie carries a range of Chamellia teas, sourced directly from organic estates committed to sustainable and ethical trade practices. The 9 Spice Fresh Chai is served black; the French Vanilla is a premium Ceylon tea from the Uva region of Sri Lanka mixed with organic vanilla bean.
Step through the side door and down the lane, and there’s a whole new aspect to the bakery: a huge expanse of lawn flanked by trees and garden beds. Tables and beach umbrellas provide dining areas for a quiet chat; the gardens are the source of herbs and greens for the café.
When the olive tree is outside the front door, the bakery is open. Free from artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, pesticides and chemicals, you’ll know that you’re taking a step in the right direction. After all, Vivre a Vie could be translated ‘Live Life’!
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