Happy Organic: Front Street, Cleadon Village

Happy Organic.

Happy Organic.

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FOODIES, this might be your cup of matcha green tea latte – or perhaps that should be twee?

Happy Organic has been open a matter of weeks, but the Cleadon cafe and shop already appears to have built up a following.

Now it includes my Mum and I.

We called in one Saturday and while we easily found a table, space was tight as families and friends squeezed in between shelves stacked with hundreds of items, a deli counter, green products and its busy staff.

It seems to have cornered the ideal of just how most would imagine such a place would be.

Furnished with church pews, decorated with gingham bunting, filled with obscure and healthy foods (anyone for cywanaprash?) wine and beers and a notice board advertising yoga classes, it is run with plenty of green credentials.

Anyone looking to make a better diet a New Year’s resolution will be able to pick up a host of goodies and advice here – its owner Luisa Minchella is studying to be a nutritionist.

But putting appearances and the rest aside, the food is tasty and good value. The three-page menu is packed with choice.

While coconut water, shots of wheatgrass and falafel are there, it also has plenty more mainstream cafe options.

Bacon and sausage sandwiches on the breakfast menu, mixed meat platers, steak and chicken pies and a good choice of puddings.

There’s a children’s menu and as this is a Minchella venue, it offers its ice creams too.

After a great deal of deliberating, Mum chose a latte of the normal variety at £2.40 and poached eggs, spinach and seeds on toast at £4.70.

I had a sour cherry, cherry juice and banana smoothie at £3.50 and picked one of the soups from the specials board at £3.85 – butternut squash and blue cheese, which was served with a just-baked bun and butter, which was perfect and filling for a winter’s day.

They were also serving mushroom soup that day and on the way out we eyed up the cakes, but we were too full.

Our bill came to £14.45, but we spent more than that on items from its shop, with its canny and chatty staff making a host of recommendations.

Mum’s standards are pretty high when it comes to customer care and restaurants, so I’ll let her have the last word.

She said she loved it and would happily take her friends there.

A healthy recommendation indeed.

Fiona Thompson