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Urbanbar Design: Behind the Bar (Mr Perkins)

Mr Perkins

Mr Perkins is a Bondi hotspot that serves up the kind of delicious fare that’s high on nourishment and low on guilt. Offering an alternative to the usual junk take-away options, Mr Perkins delights with its home cooked, slow approach to food. It’s located a stone’s throw from Bondi Beach and has a seasonal menu developed in tandem with a nutritionist — the perfect recipe for keeping beach boys and babes in good health. This month, Urbanbar spoke with owner Shari to learn more about the Mr Perkins approach to food and health.

What is it about Mr Perkins that makes it so unique?

Mr Perkins was originally a fast food idea; we wanted to offer something for people who need something quickly but still want a health option. When you look at what’s out there, there’s not much — it’s either food courts or bad cafes at the bottom of office buildings. So we wanted to offer something more homely and we focus on a ‘grab-and-go’ style of service, as well as some seating in our Bondi location.

We realise people are busy so we offer things like slow-cooked bone broth that’s cooked for over 14 hours. That means people can get all their nutrients in without having to do the hard work. Whether it’s as a hangover cure, a nourishing lunch or just an afternoon pick-me-up!

What do you like the most about working with your team?

My husband Phillip and I have two business partners, the Millers, who are a brother and sister team, so it’s a really family-friendly approach. We love working with our friends. Our staff are mostly travellers, so they come to stay in Bondi, have a good time and experience the Australian way of life. It’s fun to have internationals working with us and enjoying the atmosphere.

How do you manage the pace of working in hospitality?

By eating what we make! We live on soup and salads, which are delicious. We have a 2 year old, 4 year old and 8 month old. We opened our doors eight months ago, just a week after our youngest was born. It was a very intense week to say the least!

What’s been your favourite Mr Perkins experience so far?

Apart from our exciting opening and all the fun times since, we’re really looking forward to the upcoming launch of The Wellness Cleanse package. This is a new product that’s offering something quite unique: 6 small daily meals and snacks including broths, smoothies and treats.

If there were just 5 produce items you could buy this winter, what would they be? 

Kale & Cauliflower is our signature soup, so those two ingredients for sure. Then Pumpkin, (I like the Kent variety), followed by garlic, which is perfect for adding flavour and boosting immunity.

The final ingredient would be Turmeric! It’s an ingredient in our Golden Smoothie, which has mango, macadamia and a choice of milk options in it too.

What do you try to achieve through presentation, uniforms and design through the Mr Perkins?

We want to look fresh and clean in our uniforms and design so we emphasise clean lines and minimalistic style. We did a lot of black and white, which carried through into our shop frontage design.

When we saw the options available at Urbanbar, we really loved the clean t-shirt style with the black and white stripe; it perfectly fit our look and feel. On our black and white t-shirt we’ve got the Mr Perkins logo and on our aprons we went with embroidery with a screen print.

What’s your perfect after-work drink?

I’m going with spicy veal bone broth! A lot of people in Bondi have switched their coffee intake for a bone broth recently. It’s an afternoon pick-me-up and very warming for winter. It’s got quite a kick to it too.

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