Geneva’s first exclusively superfood café has finally opened – and it’s about time! Entrepreneur Johan Jakobsson, 29, was munching on a superfood bowl in a café in Stockholm, Sweden (his country of origin), when he had a light bulb moment.
“I looked at the queues of people outside and realised that we’re missing a trick in Geneva. I needed to offer superfood!”
Fast forward a few months to the soft launch of Green Gorilla Café on the Rue de la Confederation on the 2nd of June, drawing 170 customers on the first day, and Johan knew his hunch had been right. Customers include students, bankers and people of all ages who have been looking for a healthier alternative to uninspiring salads drenched in oils or sugar-spiked so-called ‘health’ foods.
Superfood is the latest nutritional craze and for those of you who’ve been living under a rock, it basically means quality, filling meals created from healthy, fresh ingredients which contain the right mix of vitamins and proteins. This means that they not only look and taste amazing, but it is super good for you as well as it contains no additives, sugar or preservatives.
The focus in Green Gorilla Café is on quality – quality food, smoothies, cold pressed juices as well as quality coffee – supplied locally by the Goodlife Company in Lausanne.
And if you’re into Latté art, you’ll love the gorilla faces and other amazing creations by resident latté artist Tlaloc, who only happens to be the number 5 Latté Art Champion in the country – a title he secured during the Swiss Latté Art Championship in 2017!
The salads are made fresh in their own kitchen in Mies every day. We tried the Mango Madness – salad leaves, red lentils, Venere rice, mango, marinated chicken (in a mustard, honey and soya marinade), cranberries, celery, avocado, kale, cauliflower, mint and dressed with a lemon, olive oil, mango vinegar with honey (10.50CHF small or 16.00CHF large) as well as the Shaolin Bowl – salad leaves, sarrasin, edamame, beetroot, kale, spinach, physalis, cauliflower, goji berries, red onion, coriander, samphire, feta and ginger with an olive oil, sesame, lemon and soya dressing (11CHF small/16CHF large).
Most popular items on the menu so far have proven to be the Açai Bowls – breakfast bowls made with banana, apple, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, dates, vanilla, cinnamon and include the popular Brazilian Açai seeds, as well as their choice of seven different fruit and veg smoothies – made from recipes gathered from the best juice bars across Europe.
“We’ve visited health bars and superfood cafés across Europe and in the USA – New York, Florida and LA, asking the owners what works and what doesn’t. They’ve been very generous in sharing their ideas and supporting us.”
Why Green Gorilla?
The logo was chosen because gorillas are fun, different, eat greens and look after other animals in the jungle. The Café has a jungle feel to it too – with natural wood details and greenery. All the packaging is recyclable.
Johan, who studied engineering, and his business partner, Alexandre Masson, have been friends since they were seven. This is the second company they’re setting up together.
“Geneva creates more enterpreneurs than Silicon valley,” says Johan, who believes this is a result of the bureaucratic system and the need for young people to do things their own way.
What’s more, he believes young people who grow up in Geneva are mostly well travelled, which allows them to bring fresh ideas back to the city. His advice for other young people is to not be scared to ‘learn on the job’. He believes the secret to setting up your own business is to network and to get yourself out there meeting people.
Although neither Johan nor his partner have a background in food, they have done their research and are using ideas, support and recipes from sources around the world. They’ve also been gathering feedback from clients since June and will keep improving the offering to reflect their clients’ needs. To out the date of the official opening of Green Gorilla Café and stay up to date with other superfood events and news, follow them on Facebook.