When a personal trainer and a former fast food restaurant manager decided to go into business together, they created the perfect healthy combination.
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Lean and Green, in Chorley, is a health food cafe, put together by fitness instructor Oliver Stringer, Stephen Roche, who has experience in food retail, and Stephen’s cousin, entrepreneur Tom Yates.
It serves nutritional food and Oliver is on hand to provide expert advice on health and wellbeing.
The cafe also specialises in Buddha boxes, which consists of a protein, carbohydrate base, vegetables and a home-made sauce.
Oliver, 26, of Coppull, says: “It had been in the back of our minds that there was nowhere in Chorley where you could eat healthy food.
We said to each other ‘why not open a cafe so we have somewhere to go for dinner?’ That was the idea.Stephen Roche
“There have been a few healthy eating establishments in Wigan and Preston, but nowhere in Chorley.
“We started looking around and found a commercial property where Butter Cup Tea Rooms used to be in Water Street. We decided to come together and commit to it. It is across the road from the swimming baths and leisure centre, so it is the ideal location for us.
“We offer a very unique menu, with healthy options.
“We have the Buddha boxes where you can choose a protein and than brown rice, quinoa, vegetables and a source. We have vegan and vegetarian options. It is a good way of getting carbs and protein.
“Stephen and I work here most days, with a team of 10 staff, Tom deals more in the financial and business side.
“Stephen used to manage a fast food restaurant so he deals with the compliance and legal side.
“I tend to open up and make sure everyone knows what they are doing for the day. I check we have enough stock for the day ahead and take a managerial role.
“I am still delivering my personal training, so I am in and out, which is working quite well at the minute.
“It is a great environment to work in. We have selected the staff well and everyone seems to enjoy it. It is nice seeing the customers enjoy our food and think of it as a great place to be.”
Stephen, had been a manager at various KFC restaurants for 10 years, and has worked at Burger King and Waitrose sites across the north, including Charnock Richard services.
The 40-year-old who lives in Chorley says: “Tom and I would regularly go out for lunch but we felt we needed somewhere healthy to go in Chorley. We said to each other ‘why not open a cafe so we have somewhere to go for dinner?’ That was the idea.
“Using my experience in the fast food industry, I manage the operational side, making sure everything is running smoothly, ordering ingredients, ensuring we are compliant with health and safety regulations.
“We have a manager in place who will eventually take over from me.
“The cafe is a more leisurely pace than a fast food restaurant, as I have more time with customers. I can chat to them about their food or whether they would like us to change the menu. I really enjoy that.
“Working with my cousin is fun. It has been working well so far.”
Tom, 27, who lives in Wigan, and also runs asbestos removal firm Greenfield Removals, in Chorley, adds: “I am quite into healthy food and when I used to live in Manchester I enjoyed going to quirky eating places, but found there was nothing like that in Chorley.
“We offer a lot of salads, a lean breakfast, with poached eggs. We have lean meat which is healthier.
“I would say my favourite healthy food is smashed avocado with sourdough bread, poached eggs and bacon.”
The cafe is open from 7am until 8pm to catch hungry diners after their gym sessions.
Tom adds: “Most cafes shut by 5pm.
“But we offer extended hours, especially for people who attend the gym before or after work.”