A globe-trotting couple have brought the melting pot of flavours they encountered on their travels back to Seaham to open their own clean eating restaurant.
Paul and Linda Barron, from Sunderland, spent more than a year exploring the world with tips across Nepal, California and Australia where they developed a taste for unprocessed, whole foods.
It was a trip which would change their outlook on life and when they returned to Wearside they decided to give up their day jobs in construction and recruitment to open Clean Bean where they serve food as nature intended, without preservatives, colouring, refined sugars or other chemicals.
The cafe, bar and restaurant has opened in a former residential building in North Terrace, which was converted into a commercial unit.
Speaking about the inspiration behind the venture, Paul said: “I do boot camps in Seaham with East Coast Fitness and all the customers were having to go through to Newcastle to eat clean.
“We were looking to open a clean eating restaurant, and had looked elsewhere in the region, but then I saw that they were converting this to a commercial unit.”
Food served at Clean Bean, which has been open just over a week, doesn’t adhere to any strict diet, however, all its dishes are gluten-free, with options available for vegetarians, vegans and meat-eaters, as well as alcohol. Because of their gluten-free approach to foods, the owners are also working towards accreditation from Coeliac UK.
Clean eating is something Paul adopted into his life after he was diagnosed with pancreatitis in 2008, which progressed into diabetes, a condition he has been able to control through diet.
It’s a passion he shares with wife Linda. She said: “A lot of people think they are eating healthily, but they really aren’t. Supermarket labels say things like 0% fat on yoghurts, but it’s filled with sugars, so the full fat yoghurt is actually more natural. We don’t count calories here, it’s all about natural flavours and foods.
“We feel like we’re bringing something completely different to the area, while also complementing the existing offering on North Terrace. There’s a really good choice of independent businesses along here, whether you want fish and chips, ice cream or clean eating dishes.”