by | Oct 21, 2020 | Client focus

Organico

You’d have to be crazy to open a new restaurant in the middle of a pandemic, right? Yet Otto Mellouki and his business partner Amine El Gueddar have done exactly that, launching their new concept Orgânico on Bold Street just a week before Liverpool entered Tier 3 restrictions.

“I’ve always been a risk taker, but I also look on the bright side! There’s no doubt that our industry has been deeply affected by recent events however that made us even more determined to open. We’re proud to be able to support independent suppliers in the city and provide an opportunity for the employment of 12 staff here at Orgânico.”

The venue has a clear focus on health, offering organic, nutritious options for their customers. The menu is vegetarian and vegan and incudes a variety of hot and cold dishes, fresh juices, and desserts. Otto hopes that even his meat-eating customers will see that a plant-based menu can still deliver satisfying choices without compromising on delicious flavours. “We see the smile on our customers faces when they try our colourful and healthy food, and it really makes us feel like we’re giving something back to our community. Keeping them healthy and happy is a pleasure for us.”

The unique name for this venture was very much a family affair. “My 9-year-old daughter Manal came up with the name Orgânico, and the banana leaf design is also down to her. This menu was inspired by how I cook at home with my kids – the kitchen is the heart of our home; we make juices, and we collect vegetables from our own garden.”

The number of people taking up plant-based diets has increased year on year, and customers are more conscious of their health requirements when choosing a venue. The menu here is close to Otto’s heart, after he turned to a vegan diet himself at the start of lockdown. “The traditional vegetarian and vegan alternatives offered in a lot of food venues lack imagination, so we wanted to open a concept which revolved around these dishes, rather than it being an afterthought.”

Exec Chef Sean Paul Redding has previously worked as a private chef for several A-list stars. He had already made a name for himself in the region thanks to his modern take on vegan cooking during his Green Fork residencies. However, Sean’s original plans for this year were a little different. “Sean was going to take some time out and travel the world this year – and then Covid-19 came along. He was at home in Liverpool, and during one of his daily walks we bumped into each other. I told him about my idea, and soon realised he was the perfect person to take on the Exec Chef role here at Orgânico!”

Orgânico’s menu was designed with takeaway at the forefront of Otto’s mind. “We knew that it had to be a strong grab and go concept as well as a dine in space, and we wanted to make sure that we developed a menu which could be adapted easily to both. We wanted to make vegan and vegetarian food an accessible and affordable choice for our customers.”

Otto and Sean are also keen to team up with local independent suppliers from across the region, “We have a lot of local suppliers who rely on us and other local independents. We purchase our pies from The Gluten Free Pie Company, our bread from The Baking Hub, our coffee from Crosby Coffee and our grains and spices from Mattas. It’s important to us that we look after our supply chain community.”

The menu is diverse, and Otto and Sean have plans to rotate dishes every week to make the best of seasonal produce. “We’re working with local suppliers and North West farmers to provide specially selected ingredients daily for maximum freshness. In the short time we’ve been open we already have our first regular customers, and we want to make sure that our menu gives them a surprise every time they visit. We want to be anything but boring!”

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