When An Idea Is Healthy, It Has A Better Chance At Success.

With the overwhelming bulk of retail operators today seemingly formulaic and functional, the retail concepts that have a genuine idea executed with integrity stand out. One such concept is a new fast food brand called Health Freak Café. Founded by Perth business identity Victoria Carbone, this new food option presents customers with what appears to me to be a first. A wide range of truly healthy food that is mouth wateringly tasty and cool.

Like all great concepts it revolves around a core belief – that “the healthier you are, the happier you will be”. This is definitely not like a lot of health food concepts that make you suffer for the gain. The food and drink menu seems to have been created by a chef who really knows their stuff and actually tasted their own cooking. Clever creations for all meals in the day. Every one of them with a kilojoule count, so that you can ensure you stick within your daily limits. And with ingredients you recognise and desire – including real meat!!!!

The environment is crisp and contemporary with an open kitchen and bar and table service. In this era of ‘glassbox brands’ everything is transparent and is published online at so that you can see who they are, what they believe and what is available. They don’t try to be cheap but they are not expensive. Good value to the customer and healthy margins for the business.

And to cap it all off, their staff epitomise their core belief. They are all happy, healthy and incredible friendly people who just want to make sure you get the outcome you desire. Every aspect of this concept reinforces and strengthens the overall customer experience. It’s a lesson in what can be achieved with focus, discipline and creative flair. The cornerstones of retail that appear to have been overlooked in recent times by retailers who are more like financial managers than real merchants.

While we all acknowledge that there are no guarantees in retail, a strong idea executed with passion and discipline has a better chance than most of being successful. There are simply too many retailers today that are no more than poor imitations of other peoples concepts managed to numbers rather than integrity to the idea.

At its heart, this is what physical retail needs to re-embrace quickly.

Retail has historically been populated by great merchants – people who have inspirational ideas about how they can make their customers lives better. They attract a zealot like ‘cult’ of people around them who are passionate about helping their leaders become successful by infectiously selling those ideas to customers every day. Great retail is not about ripping off someone else’s intellectual property with the sole differentiator being an attempt at lowest cost of doing business. There will always someone who can come along and do something cheaper. Cheap has no integrity other than to being cheap.

Health Freak Café is a shining example of what retail can and must do to generate success through passion. And heaven knows we could all do with more passion in our lives right now.