The Breakfast Club

Restaurant & Café magazine spoke to café owners Adele Jenner of Catroux in Auckland and Emma Wood of Christchurch’s vegan café Portershed to get an idea of where breakfast is heading in New Zealand.

Portershed and Catroux have very different focuses. Portershed is run by a life-long vegan in Wood and was last year named the best café in the country, while Jenner specialises in wholesome, home-made food not shy of cream and chocolate.

Being an entirely vegan café, Portershed plays into a distinct trend – plant-based meals. However, Wood makes sure that the majority of its offerings can be made gluten-free and nut-free upon request.

“This is something that about ten percent of our customers request. Most of our clients also require a vegan breakfast, but that's a given with us as everything we offer is covered.”

In Auckland, Jenner has seen a rise in fitness bowls – salad bowls with enough protein to keep customers satisfied. Bowls also have the advantage of portability – with around half of Catroux’s customers ordering breakfast to go, this can be vital. For the most part, though, Jenner sticks away from trends.

“Everything goes through phases,” Jenner said. “First gluten-free, then paleo, then vegan and now Keto. Trends are just that – here for a short time, until the next.”

Restaurant Association CEO Marisa Bidois noted plant-based eating as an emerging trend in café offerings. “The global trend towards wellness coupled with a focus on environmental concerns and animal welfare is having an impact on consumer interest in more plant-based menu items. Many of our members have already adjusted their menus accordingly and offer either vegan or vegetarian food options or have a focus on using local and sustainable produce.”

Portershed’s menu options include dishes such as The Pumpkin One (sourdough toast, kale, pumpkin, and tofu topped with coconut feta and hazelnut dukkah) and the PB Toast (pumpernickel topped with peanut butter, banana, toffee walnuts and fruit).