HEALTHY CHOICE: Healthy Leaf employee Leena Mobbs displays some of the freshly made food on offer at the new Goldfields Plaza business.
HEALTHY CHOICE: Healthy Leaf employee Leena Mobbs displays some of the freshly made food on offer at the new Goldfields Plaza business. Patrick Woods

Gympie gets a new whole foods store, The Healthy Leaf

GYMPIE business woman Mary Arkinstall has turned over a new leaf.

Mrs Arkinstall and her husband Graham are the busy owners of Rendezvous Cafe in Goldfields.

Now, they have complemented the cafe with a new business, Healthy Leaf.

Managing one business can be a handful but Mrs Arkinstall is now twice as busy with the two ventures.

Rendezvous Cafe has been - and remains - a popular stopover for friends catching up for lunch and Gympie workers looking for a convenient bite to eat on the go.

While the cafe continues to grow, it is now complemented by the new business, directly behind Rendezvous Cafe, in what used to be The Donut Shop.

Mrs Arkinstall said she decided to open the second business as an extension of her cafe.

"We felt there was a need for a healthy foods option," she said.

"There were a lot of people asking for gluten-free."

Healthy Leaf, as the name suggests, is about turning over a new leaf on good health, particularly for those seeking gluten-free options.

Getting the business off the ground was hard work for the couple.

Mrs Arkinstall worked 12-hour days during the first few weeks after opening earlier this month."Things are starting to settle down a bit now," she said.

"We've been getting pretty good feedback from customers."

Both businesses allow Mrs Arkinstall to showcase her love of cooking.

She makes as much food as she can on the premises, preferring to do that to ordering in ready-made frozen products.

"I've been told my quiches are quite famous," Mrs Arkinstall said.

"I use real eggs and cream and it is about the traditional approach - not cutting corners."

The arrival of the colder months means a slight change in the menu to include home-made soups and lasagne.

What remains front and centre for the Healthy Leaf business owner is convenience.

"I want things people can take home or put in a paper bag and take back to the office," Mrs Arkinstall said.