Bringing Health and Happiness to the Garden City Through Food

Katie Ross looking to camera.

Katie Ross

Barefoot Eatery is the product of dedication and a genuine love for whole foods and nutritious eating.

In 2014, owners Katie and Will opened up a stall at Riccarton Bush Farmers Market as Greenroots Juicery. At the time, healthy eating and wellness was a new conversation many people were having, and the response to their colourful and delicious pours was overwhelmingly positive. Katie and Will have run with that success and still open weekly at the farmers market while also running Barefoot Eatery and their NZ wide juice delivery service.

Part of The Welder on Welles Street, Barefoot Eatery is a hub for anyone who appreciates eating, drinking and living well. We caught up with Katie over a smoothie to chat about how it all came together....

Interview: Olivia Sisson
Photo: Nancy Zhou

Did you always know you’d work with food?

Since I was little I knew I would work with food, so when we started Greenroots in 2014 I knew that I was on a track that aligned with my life purpose. I didn’t really like what I was doing at the time in the corporate world and I was ready to do something I was really passionate about. I realised through my own experiences that I could use food to become happier and healthier. I love creating new flavours and inspiring dishes and I get a lot of my ideas from nature and whole foods diets.

What was your first juice?

Our green juice, Garden City. Everything in there is grown in Canterbury. It’s green but people totally love it. It tastes really nice and has the right balance of bitter and sweet. Berry Ade is another popular one, and we’re always developing new flavours from our home/test kitchen. Once you’ve figured out what flavours go well together, it’s all about getting the ratios down.

Did you always want to open a physical shop?

We always wanted a space and we were so happy when we found this one. We had a few other options but they didn’t quite have the right vibe. This spot at The Welder just felt like a natural step forward, it just made sense. People come to The Welder for the experience as well as the food offerings. They want to fill their cup and here you can find people, food and plants all within a bright indoor setting that is still connected to the landscape of the city. It’s cheery and bright - the kind of happy, relaxed atmosphere we knew we wanted.

You work with so many fresh ingredients, how do you source them all?

We buy from Spring Collective. Most of our produce comes from them and they are our friends too, so it’s quite nice. Our juices are 95% organic so the individual ingredients really speak for themselves. We don’t use any additives, as we want to keep everything really whole and pure and nourishing.  We also make all our food in house.

Still doing the market?

Yep we’re there every Saturday with our juices. And then we’re at Barefoot Eatery seven days a week from 8-3. On Fridays and Saturdays we’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner til 8.

What keeps you going?

Definitely our customers. We’re really careful about our presentations and displays because we know that people come here to do something nice and nourishing for themselves and we want to make that inspiring and fun, too. When we get good feedback that really lights me up. It helps me know that I’m doing what I’m meant to be doing and lets us know that our customers are really receiving the benefits of our food and juices. Lovely feedback makes me so happy.