When we heard best selling author and Endeavour alumnus Lola Berry had opened a smoothie bar and café called Happy Place centered around holistic principles in Melbourne, we had to check it out for ourselves. We sent one of our favourite naturopaths Meg Thompson along to report back on her experience of this new addition to the Melbourne health food scene.
Perfectly situated on the corner of the South Melbourne Market, Happy Place is a little gem for those searching for some liquid nourishment to sustain their shopping. The brain child of Lola Berry and Salvatore Malatesta (from St Ali), the new smoothie and juice bar offers cold pressed juices, smoothies, acai bowls, bone broth, kombucha and various interesting hot drinks – including a pretty looking hibiscus beetroot latte!
No coffee though – caffeine lovers will need to get their fix in the form of green tea or cacao infused drinks. In the solid food department, you’ll find energy balls, mini raw cheesecakes and slices, as well as chia puddings and some small salads. As I arrived, I chatted to two lovely girls who had just ordered acai bowls and were singing their praises.
Happy Place is fresh and clean in design, and even on the dim Melbourne day that I visited it seemed light and bright. The foliage dotted around is lovely, and Lola’s penchant for crystals is on display with a giant beauty on the front counter.
Looking through the menu, it is obvious that Lola has tried to accommodate different dietary preferences, and has chosen low allergenic and easily digested ingredients in much of the offerings. There are plenty of dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and low sugar options. The nuts are activated for better nutrient absorption and easier digestion, and gut healing winners like bone broth and kombucha are on tap. Fellow naturopaths and flower essence lovers will be excited about the inclusion of flower essences in each smoothie, and the gift of an individual crystal with selected smoothies is a thoughtful touch.
The smoothies on offer are $12.50 each, and follow a rotating seasonal menu. Dairy free? Can’t do nuts? No problem – you can customise your smoothie with one of four milks on offer. And there are some delicious creations to choose from, including ‘Green Gaia’ with spinach, spirulina, chlorophyll, celery, avocado, soaked chia seeds, cold brew sencha green tea, vanilla bean and stevia; or the popular ‘I Love Oprah’ with dried figs, medjool dates, blueberries, oats, activated pecans, almond milk, nutmeg, cinnamon and maple syrup.
I tried the ‘Pumpkin Pie’ smoothie, which was a blend of jap pumpkin, ABC butter, medjool dates, clove, cinnamon, maple syrup and almond milk. It was super creamy and had all those familiar pumpkin pie flavours – delish!
There is a big list of extras you can add for $2 including vegan protein, chlorella shots, maca, bee pollen and powdered mushrooms. And you can also treat yourself to extra flower essences for $1.
If cold pressed juices are more your thing, Happy Place has collaborated with Organic Avenue to bring you a rainbow of delicious options, with low fructose/sugar choices too.
I would have loved to sit and sip, but there is limited seating – hey, you can’t have everything can you! Definitely worth checking out if you’re a smoothie lover.
116 to 131 Cecil Street
Open daily 7am to 5pm
1-4: Needs work