Functional food is becoming increasingly popular, with consumers becoming more health conscious than ever. Flax & Beets, which recently opened in the Powerscourt Centre, is the newest eatery hoping to satisfy demand in Dublin.

Flax & Beets was founded by Jessica Nolan, a personal trainer, who saw a gap in the market for an eatery that provides truly nutritious food, where consumers can easily see the nutritional information. The menu, which was created by medicinal chef Rachel Graham, currently offers three salads, two chicken and one vegan, alongside a range of cold-pressed juices and raw desserts. When we spoke to Jessica, she told us how important nutrition is to the company:

“My background is in health and fitness and I’m a qualified personal trainer. The business came about because when I’m out in Dublin there aren’t a lot of places I can go to get a healthy lunch that I know has nutritional information supplied. Another thing is that health and fitness are really on-trend right now, but there are lots of people that are just jumping onto the trend and they’re promoting lots of healthy options but there is actually no nutrition behind them. I get upset by that because I know that most people don’t know any better and they’ll be led astray by that information. This was born out of a passion to create a community around health, fitness and wellbeing. The general public is still quite uneducated about nutrition, so Flax & Beets is as much about a passion for food, health and fitness as it is for educating people.”

Jessica Nolan, Flax & Beets founder

Jessica Nolan, Flax & Beets founder

Jessica told us that another issue of key importance to the business is limiting its waste: Included in the price of a Flax & Beets salad (€8.50) is a reusable glass container, which gives customers a discount on their next salad if they bring it back to the café. While compostable packaging is all the rage right now, Jessica is unsure about its usefulness. There are next to no compostable bins on the streets of Dublin, meaning that it will end up in a refuse bin anyway. Is reusable packaging the next big thing for Dublin eateries? Jessica believes so:

“We looked at a lot of different packaging options, particularly compostable alternatives but we thought they might be a bad idea because how many compostable bins do you see around town? It’s all well and good to buy compostable packaging, but if there aren’t any compost bins around, then there’s absolutely no point and that’s what drove us to the reusable option. If you bring back your empty jar to us, you get 50c off your next purchase and we sterilise and reuse the jars. We offer a discount on coffee if you bring a keep cup, but we also use compostable cups because we can’t tell people they can’t have coffee if it’s not in a reusable cup! There’s a compost bin in the centre, so hopefully people use that for their cups.”

Read more: 10 Places to Get a Vegan Sweet Treat in Ireland

Fitness is also a major focus for Jessica and she hopes that Flax & Beets will hold many fitness events in the future. The price of each class will also include a breakfast or brunch, tying together Jessica’s ethos that functional food and fitness go together hand-in-hand.

“The Powerscourt Centre is such a beautiful spot and our balcony is on the top floor so we have a gorgeous view of the entire centre. We’re going to do a complete mix of events, blending together all of our focuses. Some events will be nutrition based, like a fermentation event where you learn to make kefir and kombucha, or we might have cooking demos or a nutrition Q&A. We also want to bring some of the wacky fitness classes, like barre, to Dublin and hold events around them.”

Flax & Beets’ first event will take place next Sunday, February 3rd. There will be a HIIT (high initensity interval training) class with champion athlete Jenny Murphy, then Emma Kehoe, a blogger and influencer, will deliver a talk about body positivity, mindset and self-love, followed by healthy smoothies created by the in-house chef. Tickets can be found on Eventbrite, but we’d recommend you snap them up quickly as it looks like they’ll sell out soon! However, Jessica has ensured us that this year will be and exciting one for Flax & Beets, so keep an eye on their Instagram feed to see what they have planned for the next few months.

Have you tried Flax & Beets yet? Let us know what you thought in the comments below.