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Josh Sparks Thr1ves in Food Courts

Posted by: Patrick Catanzariti on October 19, 2015

Remember a time when food courts were fry fests? Laden with fast food chains, fish and chips shops, burger places, greasy Chinese take-aways and the odd sandwich shop, the only healthy options were mediocre to say the least.

Enter Thr1ve. Thr1ve has been appearing in food courts all over Australia, claiming the space of a paleo/primal style eatery with a nourishing and satisfying menu and delicious, sugar free treats. Standing out amongst all other food-court chains with it’s natural looking green and wooden finish, this breath of fresh and healthy air advocates a sugar, gluten and artificial ingredient free philosophy, helping its clientele to look, feel and perform better!

“There was a real desire for an authentic health offer that was delivered with genuine integrity and honesty,” says founder and CEO, Josh Sparks.

Josh is adamant that the world has changed significantly throughout the last 20 years, and the desire for accessible healthy meals has become paramount for Australians while they are out and about, allowing for Thr1ve to become the food court phenomenon it is today.

“20 years ago the places where Thr1ve may have worked would have been Santa Monica, certain parts of San Francisco and maybe Bondi in Sydney, but there certainly wasn’t the calling and push it has now,” emphasises Josh.

Health and wellness has become an open public concern, and Josh exemplifies this by explaining how it is now a common topic on mainstream media.

“The other day one of the morning shows were having a debate about sugar for about 15 minutes,” Josh tells me.

“That wouldn’t have happened 20 years ago. There is just so much more awareness today.”

But the real power and fuel behind Thr1ve is its people, who are involved in every aspect of its day-to-day management including the menu, community events, customer engagement and the health concerns of individuals.

“We are walking the talk. This is not some bogus marketing exercise,” exclaims Josh.

“This is the way we actually live. I eat at Thr1ve everyday and I feed it to my kids, this is just what we do!”

Josh, the management team and the staff have a personal investment in the health of their customers. They truly want their clientele to thrive, both physically and personally, and go out of their way to explain each item on the menu, meet their nutritional needs and abide by specific dietary requirements.

“We have a health promise to our customers, and have done the hard work by obliging our supply chain to constantly monitor and be vigilant in the testing of added sugar, industrial oils and gluten,” Josh tells me.

If the team at Thr1ve discover that any of their food or ingredients do not not abide by this health promise, it is removed from the menu and the store altogether.

“I don’t even want it stored in the store, I want it out,” exclaims Josh.

Thr1ve stands by the mantra that “food is medicine” and understand that no matter how many “healthy ingredients” you add into a food, if it contains sugar, gluten or industrial oils, the health value of the food becomes undermined, and therefore completely exclude them from their menu.

“That doesn’t mean that the current menu is perfect,” reiterates Josh.

“There are things that I would love to add and there are things I may phase out, but we do everything we possibly can to bring customers the best possible nutrition, specifically excluding those ingredients that are proven to be problematic.”

The Thr1ve concept was conceived while Josh was in South Africa.

“There was a health food shop in Capetown run by a really fit guy, and his clientele was great, fit looking guys and girls,” he recalls.

“It had a merchandising section with books, activated nuts, protein powders and great food. It was a little kind of hippy place but I loved it and ate there everyday. It was definitely my kind of scene and if I lived there I would eat there all the time.”

That is exactly the vision Josh has for Thr1ve. He wants it to be a down to Earth, wholesome place where the health conscious, as well as people looking to live healthier lifestyles can go to for nourishment and satisfaction without feeling intimidated or out of place.

“I want to bring average Aussies on this journey. I don’t want to be an elite brand, I want to be approachable, accessible and comforting,” Josh says.

Thr1ve’s menu is delicious. Featuring an abundance of fresh vegetables delivered daily including zucchini, kale, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, sweet potato, a great range of meats including grass fed beef, pulled pork, chicken, bacon and Atlantic salmon, free range eggs and gluten free grains like rice and oats, this selection of nourishing food will satisfy everyone. With Thr1ve a healthy meal is not just about having a salad, but rather an array of delicious and nutritious real food without any added sugar, gluten or industrial oils.

“Customers trust us because they know that this is the way we live,” Josh claims.

“We walk the talk and we have done the hard work to be able to back up our promises, and that trust is golden.

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