BACK TO BASICS: Michael Harris with a plate of beef cheeks on offer at his Paleo Cafe franchise in Mackay.
BACK TO BASICS: Michael Harris with a plate of beef cheeks on offer at his Paleo Cafe franchise in Mackay. Lucy Smith

The Paleo Cafe wins prestigious international award

THE Paleo Cafe franchise has won a prestigious international award and Mackay cafe owner Michael Harris thinks it's thanks to a societal move towards healthy living.

"There's no doubt about it that paleo's becoming more well-known," he said.

"A lot of people want to get back into healthy eating, there's way too much processed food in our diet, and there's a lot of people who recognise that."

The Paleo Cafe chain was named one of the top 20 franchises at the International Franchise Association's NextGen in Franchising Global Competition.

Mr Harris, a former corporate accountant, said he had lost 38kg through exercise and eating paleo foods.

"I tried crossfit, which promoted the paleo way of eating. I tried that, and it really worked," he said.

Mr Harris is often approached by people interested in the diet and he is more than happy to help by providing advice.

"I try to help people. A lot of people have a similar story to me," he said.

"Once they finish their 20s, they finish playing sport, they become unhealthy, less active.

"I enjoy pointing people in the right direction because I've been down that path."

Mr Harris said negativity surrounding the paleo "brand" was frustrating.

"Cutting out processed foods cannot do any harm to you," he said.

"Eating this way is just getting back to basics, pretty much what our grandparents used to eat - meat and three veg."

Mr Harris said he thinks the health, diet and fitness industry is yet to grow.

"I think the whole health and fitness market is going to grow bigger and bigger," he said. "We're becoming more overweight, obesity's everywhere, and people understand we need to change our diets."

The NextGen award is for young innovators. Paleo Cafe was nominated and supported for the award by The Franchise Council of Australia.



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