Gluten-free cafe in Kingswood puts health first

The team at The Good Place in Kingswood. Photo: Melinda Jane.
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A local personal trainer has joined forces with one of his clients to bring a unique café – with a focus on genuinely healthy food, community service and environmental sustainability – to the people of Penrith.

The Good Place is unique in that its 100 per cent gluten-free menu uses ingredients sourced directly from local regenerative farmers, along with a commitment to community and environment that includes hosting clean-up days, minimising waste by composting organic matter to grow their own micro herbs in local community gardens, and providing expert education about health.

Business partners Amie Reid and Joe McManus launched The Good Place on Derby Street, Kingswood last week.

“The more we exposed ourselves to the philosophy of The Good Place, the more we felt, ‘This is really cool’ and we couldn’t wait to get going,” Mr McManus said about the venture.

“The fact that we want people to know where their food comes from, how it’s produced, and ideally learning about the farmers who are growing food that supports and regenerates the land, I think that’s something that everyone is loving.

“The more we tell people what we’re doing, the more interest that it sparks – people we tell about it, our close friends, the fitness community around here, they all think it’s a unique thing and quite cool to start in Penrith, because there’s nothing really like it around here.”

Amie and Joe began talking about opening a genuinely healthy cafe together at the start of last year– Amie was Joe’s fitness client, and they both have a passion for health and fitness.

“My two kids were getting older, I was exercising more, and I struggled to find good clean healthy food myself, so I started to look into how I could make this type of food more available,” Ms Reid said.

Along with sit down meals and take away, The Good Place Penrith will provide healthy “grab and go” meals to cater for the busy workers in the precinct, including at the local Nepean Hospital.

The Good Place cafe restaurant chain is impressing communities in Sydney, Brisbane, and the Sunshine Coast. Its core values are its dedication to delicious gluten-free food, buying produce from nearby local producers, hosting and supporting events that build the community, and environmentally sustainable business practices.

The Good Place operates with the “Green Caffeen” initiative, whereby customers buy coffee in returnable cups. It is also one of few businesses of its size that has a full-time staffer dedicated to reducing the chain’s carbon footprint.

Amie and Joe are bringing that vibe to Penrith, educating locals about wholesome food, and the value of sourcing from local producers who support the environment.

The Good Place team. Photo: Melinda Jane.

“I fell in love with Penrith when I moved here,” Mr McManus explained.

“We genuinely believe we can help. Helping people get healthier, helping them move more, not only changing the way they look but changing the way they feel, I know that food plays a big role in that as well, and having somewhere like The Good Place in Penrith just seemed like a no-brainer.

“We want our community to be able to buy highly nutritious meals and knowing that they’re not going to get any toxins or additives or any nasty by-products that come with the mass-produced produce.”

The community work will include community clean-up days – initially focussed on the Nepean River and surrounds – as well as movement and exercise sessions. They also intend working with niche Indigenous communities and youth groups that need help learning about healthy eating, to impact positively on the Penrith community.

“We’re about making people feel good – feeling good that they’re eating nutritious meals, but also feel good about caring for the environment, being part of a community that’s inclusive and supportive,” Ms Reid said.

“The Good Place is special and unique, in that it puts health, community and the environment as core priorities, and we’re excited to be bringing these good things to the people of Penrith.”

The team from The Good Place in Kingswood. Photo: Melinda Jane.

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