21/09/2004 - 22:00

Just Eats looks to create a niche

21/09/2004 - 22:00

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The owners of one of Perth’s newest eateries are hoping to build a reputation for great sandwiches and healthy snacks similar to that of global food retailer Pret A Manger.

Just Eats looks to create a niche

The owners of one of Perth’s newest eateries are hoping to build a reputation for great sandwiches and healthy snacks similar to that of global food retailer Pret A Manger.

While there are about 150 Pret A Manger stores worldwide, many of them in London, the idea has never taken off in this part of the world.

Until now, or so the owners of Just Eats are hoping.

Two couples, Deborah and Neal Munson and Nicola and Brian McMahon, have established Just Eats, which has adopted a similar vision to that of the UK retailer – additive – and preservative-free sandwiches to take away or to sit and enjoy.

The concept is so new to Perth that describing Just Eats is difficult. It’s not quite a cafe but not quite a sandwich bar. Its front counter looks similar to the set up of a fast-food store and is geared towards a quick turnaround of customers.

Yet inside it looks more like a contemporary cafe. The shop space is open enough to allow lots of people in to select take-away food – ranging from freshly made juices to chips and sandwiches – but comfortable enough for people to sit at a table, enjoy a coffee and read the paper.

The shop is located at the Woodside building retail plaza and will be the first of what’s hoped will be many Just Eats stores.

 “It’s early days yet, we can hope for it but it’s too early to tell,” Mrs Munson says.

“We will open another two in the next six months. We’re looking at other office buildings and malls at the moment. They will be in the CBD.

“We think we could do about three or four in the CBD.

“Pret A Manger was started by two guys and they’ve just sold a third of it to Coke-a-Cola. We really like what they do so we brought some of the concepts and ideas from London and developed our own concept and opened here.

“This is what we wanted to do – freshly made preservative-free sandwiches and really different sandwiches.”

There are 29 different sandwiches and baguettes, as well as juices, coffee and mocha milk drinks, cakes, water, slices and chips – all made in-house and branded in the Just Eats way.

For example, its Just Juicy Cranberry and Lime 250ml of just-made juice comes with the following information: “Juice with raw attitude. Quite frankly, cranberry is a little self-centred and he can get a tad bitter if let alone. But at Just Eats he’s a joy to work with when he teams up with his good friend lime and cane sugar, they always bring out the best in him.”

Just Eats took a year to develop and was the result of some pretty good timing.

The Munsons and McMahons had immigrated to Perth within a month of each other, and while they had known each other in England and had talked about opening up something like Just Eats, neither couple knew the other was headed down under.

“Brian and Neal had worked together in England and we had no idea that Brian and Nicola were moving here,” Mrs Munson says.

“Someone told us that they had, so we literally knocked on their front door and we’ve spent the past year working on how we would do this.

“We’ve been sitting around the table nutting out recipes and sourcing the local produce.

“We’ve got a Sunday Roast sandwich because there are a lot of English guys working in the building who really love their roasts, so we have a sandwich with roast beef and chargrilled sweet potato.”

The sandwiches are individually boxed, not wrapped, something Mrs Munson takes pride in.

“We spent months trying to find the right packaging because we didn’t want there to be any condensation and we wanted to keep the sandwiches really fresh.”

And word of their fine produce is spreading, with corporate catering work now coming along nicely.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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