A new “clean food” takeaway is being launched by a couple on a mission to fuel up gym goers for their workouts at Stretford Mall.
Fitness enthusiasts Paul and Georgie Grzesiak are about to open Uplift, serving a range of meals made with whole foods and packing a powerful nutritional punch.
The pair are both keen members at Pure Gym in Stretford Mall where they enjoy training, and need nutritionally balanced meals to get the best from their workouts.
They are hoping to encourage fellow members to eat their high protein, low carb options such as grilled chicken, steak, rice and pasta dishes, as well as vegan meals, burgers and pizzas.
The takeaway and café will create three jobs. It is a dream come true for dad-of-four Paul who took voluntary redundancy from Tesco where he was previously a line manager, when the supermarket giant shut the local store.
Among the products of offer will be a dairy-free, nut milk drinks range launched by The Apprentice runner up Camilla Ainsworth, who set up Blackburn-based M+LKPLUS after taking part in the 2018 TV show.
They are committed to supporting local businesses from Greater Manchester, and will also be serving coffees and teas from Brew Britannia based in Oldham.
Paul, 43, believes there is a gap in the market for nutritionally balanced takeaway options, particularly with thousands of people passing through to go to Pure Gym, and can’t wait to get started when the premises opens.
Paul, who has four children – Abbi, 15, Ben, 14, Libbi, 13, and Sydney, five, said: “I was in my comfort zone and needed a kick up the bum so when the option of voluntary redundancy came up it was a blessing in disguise.
“I always thought I’d like to set up my own business but with four kids, bills and a mortgage to pay it’s a scary thing to just leave.
“The main focus for our business idea was attracting gym goers. There are thousands of members at Pure Gym and we want to try and tap into that.
“But then the more people we spoke to we realised there are a lot more people out there who want a choice.
“There are a lot of fast food and pasty shops around and I’m not knocking them, I like them as much as the next person, but people would like something a little bit healthier.
“You can’t live on fast food, people want choice and hopefully we can give them that choice.”
He added: “The connotations of the name are that it will ‘uplift’ your mood with clean food. There is obviously a business side to what we’re doing but we also want to help people eat better.
“I’ve always enjoyed the health industry and love going the gym. Me and my wife are members at Pure Gym and I like being pushed and taken out of my comfort zone.
“That’s what I’m now doing in my working life, going out of my comfort zone. I studied PE at college but never followed it through and I wish I did.
“I fell into retail as a Saturday job and climbed up the ladder. I was successful but there was always a glass ceiling for me.
“Tesco gave me a great platform and I learned a lot from the company. But this venture is totally exciting, not just for me but the whole family.
“The kids will be involved as much as they can be. We’ve taken a chef on and we’re looking to get two more staff members for front of house.”
Stretford Mall shopping centre manager Gareth Wilkins said: “We’re delighted that Paul and Georgie have decided to launch their new business venture here at Stretford Mall.
“It once again demonstrates the confidence businesses have in the shopping centre.
“I’m sure Uplift will be a huge success and a real asset to the mall. It will complement the wide range of eating establishments we already have here and are popular with our visitors.”
As part of the couple’s drive to provide a healthier option, they were keen to get The Apprentice star Camilla Ainsworth on board with her revolutionary nut milk range and are hoping she can pop down to see the new cafe when it opens.
Paul said: “I watch The Apprentice and I thought she was a really good candidate with a good business.
“Her product matches what we want to do – give people clean, healthy food and drink that they want. She has agreed for us to start selling her range which is brilliant.
“We’re also going to be using coffees and teas from Brew Britannia based in Oldham. They’re passionate about what they do and they make great coffee and have a brilliant tea range.”
Find Stretford Mall on Facebook and Twitter @StretfordMall