Sandee Biggar has built a career around helping others achieve great health.
Now the proud owner of The Village Juicery, Sandee studied food science before working as a massage therapist for the AFL for 16 years alongside a team of dietitians, sports scientists and physiologists, and she's also headed a catering business, a fitness studio and a food truck focused on healthy gelati.
A local resident for 16 years, it was the "great vibe" of the Market that drew Sandee to open The Village Juicery at the start of 2019, and she and her team are enjoying serving up tasty plant-based treats to health conscious customers.
"We source about 50% of our fresh fruit and vegies from the Market, and try to use organic produce as much as possible," says Sandee. "The menu is dairy free, with many items also gluten free. We can also customise menu items to meet dietary needs."
The menu is not the only thing that's plant-based - all the packaging, containers and cutlery at The Village Juicery is made from plant-based materials, paper or glass, and despite the huge volume of fresh fruit and vegetables required for making the store's signature smoothies and juices, very little goes to waste, with banana skins being used on local gardens and other fruit and vegetable skins and cores also being returned to the earth.
"We send our vegetable waste to a farm in Buninyong for compost, and the calves on the farm there get our orange skins as a treat," says Sandee.
The store's human customers currently prefer the Mango Whip Smoothie, although the vegan, gluten free chocolate chip cookie and fresh cold-pressed juices are not far behind. As the weather heats up, Sandee is looking to add vegan frozen yogurt and fruit popsicles to the menu of treats free from cane sugar, hydrogenated fats and fillers, along with light meals.
"We're not only about smoothies and juices, we also have protein balls, soups and Bircher muesli and there's salads coming up too," she says. "So drop in and see what's new on our menu."