AFTER a 10-hour working day as national sales co-ordinator for 20th Century Fox and a further three-hour drive in traffic to and from work, Elisha Yarrington could be forgiven for wanting to pick up a takeaway on her way home.
But, fast food was never going to be on the menu for this passionate cook.
As soon as Elisha opened her front door, she would head straight to the kitchen to cook up a storm.
The 25-year-old has had a passion for cooking 'real good local organic food' for years.
She's dreamed of one day opening her own vegetarian cafe which would provide locally grown organic produce which "nurtured the soul and provided the body with nutritious live food".
That dream has now become a reality with the opening five weeks ago of The Conscious Cafe in Byron Bay (behind the Dendy Cinema).
"I didn't want to climb the corporate ladder anymore, it's not the lifestyle I want," Elisha said.
"So when an opportunity came up with a short-term occupancy on these premises in my home town, I jumped at it.
"Dad (Allan) has come on board, as have so have many of my family members and friends who all help with the cafe."
As owners of one of only two 100% certified organic cafes in Byron Bay, Elisha and Allan want to educate people on healthy eating, evolving their spirit and knowledge of topics and issues not covered by mainstream media.
To this end, the cafe's menu is gluten, dairy and meat-free, and free of genetically modified foods and canola oil, and prepared without Teflon cookware.
Everything is cooked in organic coconut oil, but the main ingredient is love, says Elisha.
"I make my own almond milk blend and the cafe offers a simple, yet delicious menu containing alive food such as sprouting buckwheat crepe; tri-colour quinoa vegetable patties; real banana cacao nib ice cream and delicious smoothies and organic coffee," she said.
"We grow a lot of our own produce and we are conscious of what we put on the menu."
Allan said he had gathered lots of evidence which showed that eating a plant-based diet had huge health benefits.
"I had an auto-immune disease a few years back and I have cured myself by changing my diet," he said. "I want to now share this knowledge with other people through the food and information sheets we have at the cafe."
Elisha said she's received amazing feedback since opening the cafe.
"To eat high vibrational food and nurture your body is one of the most important self-fulfilling things you can do," she said. "I believe it's time people were aware of what they put in their bodies and to know where it comes from.
"The cafe's been a lot of hard work, I've worked seven days for five weeks straight, but I love it and it's my passion.
"I want to create my own little empire."
The Conscious Cafe is open seven days from 8.30am to 4pm.
I believe it's time people were aware of what
they put in their bodies and to know where
it comes from