Sheikh Mohammed’s Words Inspire new Youth Cafe in Dubai
We are a young country, proud of its youth,” these are the nine words you will find emblazoned on the walls of Dubai’s newest health cafe.
It was stated by none other than His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who inspired the concept of the home-grown Paleo health hub – Flow, which opened its doors to the public on Sunday, 19th March, 2017.
Flow, the brainchild of Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazroui, the UAE Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Emirates Youth Council, is operated by people who are aged below 30.
From its first day, the youth-friendly cafe received a rush of visitors, making it difficult for its dynamic staff to catch up with orders. “The feedback has been overwhelming, and it’s been very busy during lunch,” said Jodie O’Meara, 28, operations manager at Flow.
The cafe serves a selection of daily grab-and-go bites and a mixture of vegan, gluten-free, and Paleo-friendly options. Fresh juices and smoothies are also on sale, with a unique ‘Juice of the Week’ stirred up for guests. “When you have lunch sometimes, you feel bloated, but the food we have here is meant to fuel your mind and body and make you feel the energy flow,” said O’Meara, who’s been working in the management sector since age 16.
Among 162 candidates, only eight were recruited based on their passion, ambition, energy and personality, with each member bringing a new idea to the team.
The young workers received a four-week intensive training on food, menu and services.
“We work closely together so we know each employee’s weakness and we aim to build them to be stronger,” said O’Meara.
The cafe also specialises in coffee, serving the hot cups from Dubai’s Espresso Lab, founded by Emirati entrepreneur Ibrahim Al Mallouhi. The lab’s baristas trained Flow staff in making the perfect coffee.
Food to fuel the youth
As the saying goes, a healthy mind in a healthy body. Serving Dubai’s effort to facilitate the prosperity of the youth and promote the healthy eating movement, Flow’s food items are designed “to energise focus.”
Christopher Kinsley, the cafe’s chef who’s also 28 years old, said the menu has been designed to cater to different needs and allergies.
In one of the cafe’s corners, ‘milk taps’ could be seen dispensing almond, rice, soya and coconut milk to allow customers to personalise their drinks and dishes as they pair the milk with the outlet’s homemade granola and coffee options.
“When I first came to Dubai six years ago, the talk around healthy eating was just starting, and that’s one of the reasons why I decided to join Flow initiative, because we need more of it,” said Kinsley.
He noted that dishes were developed from locally-sourced vegetables, nuts, grains and seeds that have different health benefits.
“Eating healthy is fuel for your mind, and helps your brain develop better ideas and gain more focus. Eating is a massive part of everyday life and eating healthy is necessary to build your body to develop yourself in life,” said Kinsley.
Opening early to serve morning commuters, an app is also in the works, allowing those working in Jumeirah Emirates Towers to order food and beverages from their desks.