The Protein Cafe, owned by mum-of-one Lili Piper and based in the Dundas Indoor Market, is the town’s first healthy food takeaway.
All items on the menu have macro breakdowns – which show their showing their calorie, fat, protein and carbohydrate content – so customers can manage their dietary requirements and track their daily intake.
“It’s food that I love and food that’s good for you,” said 32-year-old Lili. “We’re part of a culture that doesn’t care enough about what we put in our body, but what you eat has a huge effect on your health.
“The whole menu is based on the idea that you can eat healthily, but still have really, really tasty food”
The Protein Café’s highlights include smashed avocado and poached eggs, steak wraps, smoked salmon eggs royale and chicken tandoori bowls. There are great vegetarian and vegan options as well as a huge range of tasty protein shakes and smoothies.
Customers are also invited to create their own fresh and healthy meals with her ‘Build Your Own Bowl’ menu where they choose one protein, one carbohydrate, three vegetables and a homemade sauce.
Lili developed her cooking skills during lockdown, producing highly-popular artisan protein bars and treats, before moving on to work for a major meal preparation company. She opened The Protein Café earlier this month.
“It’s about making healthy food really accessible and providing a different option for people who haven’t got time to cook,” said Lili.
David Harris, the Manager of the Dundas Indoor Market, said the café was a welcome addition. “Middlesbrough doesn’t have the greatest reputation for healthy eating so I’m hopeful that Lili can help bring about change. She’s certainly a good advert for her food. She’s full of energy and hasn’t stopped since she came here.”
The Protein Café is one of a number of new businesses to open at the market. The Party Shack sells greeting cards as well as items to liven up any party. African Hair Design, which is run by former model Mariam Bah Kuna, also provides bespoke fashions.
“It’s great to see such a varied range,” said Mr Harris. “The market offers shoppers something they can’t find anywhere else, and it’s all under one roof. We’re expecting to announce even more arrivals very soon, but I’m always keen to hear from people who want to make their first step into retail.”
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