Have you ever had a moment of being “Hangry” (hungry/angry) and you need something that is fast and affordable but isn’t either a protein bar that is wrapped in plastic and has a used by date that expires in 12 months (ie not real food)? Or you don’t have the time or headspace to find a park at a shopping centre to grab fruit or veggies and try to whip together a healthy snack when you’re rushing from one place to the other?
This month we are talking to Aaron from Red Moose who has thankfully opened a couple cafes in Bayside. Red Moose provides nutritious and delicious healthy options; offering pure, simple, healthy smoothies, wraps, soups and salads for people with active lifestyles.
Personally, I’m always on the move and often needing something quick and healthy to eat between clients so you can generally find me at a Red Moose Café. They have the perfect energy boost that fuels me up so I’m ready to run my next session, or get into a work out myself.
Because I’m there so often I’ve got the chance to have some great chats with the owner Aaron (who is also a fellow Canadian) and hear about what they do, why they do it and learn about some of the amazing things that they have done with the Bayside community.
It’s all extremely inspiring, so much so that I wanted to share with you all!
Hi Aaron, as you know I absolutely love Red Moose and it’s concept. For those who haven’t had the chance to step into the café can you explain why you are different than the others?
Hey Kari, I always enjoy your visits and our chats when you come in. It’s very reassuring to us that someone who is so interested in a healthy lifestyle sees what we are doing as compatible with their lifestyle.
We believe that we have a number of differences from typical cafes including affordability, and quick service however the main difference is that though we serve coffee (roasted by local company Naked Espresso), our primary focus is to be a healthy alternative to fast food. We have purposely not stocked anything like soft drinks and cakes so that when a customer comes into our shop they know that everything is suitable for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
When did you first create the Red Moose and what was the drive behind opening a café with healthy handmade meal options?
The idea really started about ten years ago before our kids were in school. My wife was constantly frustrated with trying to find a quick, healthy place to eat that didn’t cost a fortune. When we started thinking of this business in earnest, our focus was on ensuring that all of our offerings were healthy, delicious, affordable and served quickly.
What brought on the idea of naming the Smoothies and Wraps?
When we were naming the smoothies and wraps we wanted to carry on with the Canadian theming that exists in the look and feel of the cafes. My sport growing up was ski racing so we thought it would be good to name the smoothies after ski hills in Canada. Having spent so much of my life in the mountains I liked the idea of naming the wraps after mountain peaks in Western Canada. The best part about these names has been the discussions that they have started. So many Aussies have skied and travelled in Canada and when they see the names it often starts a chat about great trips they have had. I can talk about skiing and times in the mountains all day so it really makes for good days for me!
Along with Smoothie and Wraps what else does Red Moose offer?
We have salads, fresh juices, soups in the winter, organic coffee and our protein balls aka “moose droppings”.
Do you provide options for people who have dietary requirements? Or children size options?
We always have a selection of gluten free wraps and our soups are all gluten free. For our smoothies we can substitute any of the juices and milk with a selection of coconut water, almond or soy milk.
For the kids we have some small wraps that are very simple chicken or ham with cheese. These keep the little ones, who haven’t got their grown up tastebuds yet, very happy.
You’ve recently helped out with the Connor’s Run held in Melbourne. How did that go?
We really enjoy our involvement with the Connor’s Run. It’s a great cause run by some great people. Connor’s sister Hanna was one of our first employees and it was through her that we were introduced to her family and Connor’s story. I can’t say enough about how hard they work to make this event a success. It has been remarkable to see how they have brought the community together in the face of such a terrible loss.
Along with the Connors run you have been a part of quite a few fundraisers around Bayside, which events you helped out with?
At Red Moose we are strong believers in being a part of the local community. We always support the local school fundraisers and have been involved in the How Far Can You Run event which raised money for local boy Will Murry after he broke his neck.
I loved your Mothers Hot Chilli recipe over Winter, I would come to the café specifically on Fridays so I didn’t miss out! What do we have to look forward to coming into Summer?
The chilli was a huge hit and we’ll keep this going along with soups through to the end of September. We are currently looking at expanding our green smoothie options and introducing some new wraps and salads. We are particularly excited introducing a Kakadu Plum smoothie with the menu change. It will be great to add an Aussie superfood to the acai and dragon fruit that we already have. The new menu will start in the middle of October.
Since both of your locations are so close to Hampton and Sandringham Beach I’m guessing you’ll have a lot of customers coming to cool themselves down, what are your Summer hours going to be?
Our summer hours will be 8:00 – 5:00 Monday to Friday, 9:00 – 4:30 and 10:00-4:00 Sunday.
Thanks so much Aaron for the chat! I’m sure I’ll see you soon for my Nelson Wrap and Cypress Smoothie!
You can check out either of the Red Moose Café’s in Sandringham on 32 Waltham St, which is right across the road from Sandringham Station. Or in Hampton on 396 Hampton St, which is also conveniently located across from Hampton Station.