Today I am reviewing a brand new health cafe called Bear & Natura
l in Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, a name which accurately reflects the vibe and food available.
The menu boasts a lot of choice including options for vegetarians, vegans and paleo folks. Highlights include baked sweet potatoes, almond milk lattes, protein pizzas and a selection of healthy treats and snacks. One of their selling points is that they include the calorie and macronutrient information for everything on the menu, so if you are tracking you can easily find something to fit your needs.
During the first week of opening, I ate there twice and both times came away completely satisfied. First time I had the Salmon Salad and the New Skin smoothie. The ingredients were fresh, thoughtfully put together – who would have thought that salmon and blueberries could work together – and packed full of vitamins and minerals. The salmon was well cooked and served with tenderstem broccoli, watercress, pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds and blueberries with a balsamic reduction. The smoothie was made with avocado and flaxseed, which is much tastier than it sounds!
The second visit I fancied something warmer, so I went for the Chicken and Chorizo melt made with high protein Ezekiel bread and another smoothie, this time The Detox. I really liked the bread, and as I am always looking for ways to add more protein into my diet, I will be buying this to have at home. The sandwich came with a side salad and homemade coleslaw which made it really good value for money. The smoothie featured coconut and blueberries and again was full of vitamins.
I was pleasantly full after both meals, and did not feel the need to snack for the rest of the day, which for me is a rarity. When we have meals which are balanced in macro and micro nutrients we are giving the body what it needs. Although I am very much a foodie, when busy I am guilty of neglecting wholefoods and grabbing processed protein bars, shakes and microwavable rice instead of cooking something from scratch. Having a couple of meals which are free from additives and preservatives and instead comprised of just wholesome ‘natural’ ingredients reminded me how good you can feel when you eat well.
Having Bear & Natural Kitchen just around the corner from me is great, I can’t wait to try more of the food and drinks and be inspired by their tasty recipes. I had an opportunity to have a sit down with the business owners, Chloe and Alice who were happy to answer a few questions. Let’s get to know them a bit:
- What inspired the name Bear & Natural?
Wine! We tried searching through the thesaurus and came up with a few silly ideas before thinking of this one.
- There are a number of independent coffee shops in the Heaton area. What do you feel sets you apart?
Our food is fresh, locally and ethically sourced and high quality. We provide macronutrient and calorie information for all of our meals. The décor is quirky, rustic and the atmosphere very friendly.
- If you were a customer in your own café, what would you order from the menu?
Alice: a protein pizza and almond milk latte.
Chloe: I love chicken so the goujons with Dr Will’s sauce, and a smoothie.
- Describe the venue in 3 words.
Quirky, innovative and relaxed.
- What advice would you give to give to someone who is dreaming of opening their own small business?
Find a supportive business partner, be unique and research your market.
- What are your positions and responsibilities?
Alice: nutrition and recipes
Chloe: front of house
- If you weren’t working here what would your dream job be?
Alice: open a puppy-care
Chloe: a PA
- What did you do prior to setting up Bear & Natural?
Alice: worked in the NHS and then managed a café within my husband’s gym
Chloe: ran a bar in Marbella
- What do you do on your days off?
Alice: sleep and spend time with my new kittens
Chloe: walk my dog Kiki and spend time with family
- What is your favourite food/restaurant?
Alice: Las Iguanas
Chloe: Fratellis in Ponteland, and I’ll eat anything except for carrots and peas.
- What would you do if you won the lottery?
Chloe: I’d open a homeless animal shelter
Alice: I think I’ll join Chloe, but also buy a Ford Mustang!