Papaya co-owner Michele Robertson said they were focused on providing customers with a fun, friendly and vibrant atmosphere and providing good quality food.
Papaya co-owner Michele Robertson said they were focused on providing customers with a fun, friendly and vibrant atmosphere and providing good quality food. Marc Stapelberg

Good vibes coming to town as health food shop opens

PAPAYA is a dish of healthy food and smoothies at Lennox Head.

The cafe, with a papaya bowl as its signature dish - that's super food served in half a pawpaw - opened on November 11 in Ballina St as the second venture of co-owners Michele Robertson and partner Tasman Wales.

The couple opened Papaya in Byron Bay in October last year.

Ms Robertson said the couple aimed to offer great food in a comfortable setting with "good vibes”.

"We love good vibes,”she said.

"We want people to come and feel happy.”

And, of course, the offerings on the menu are a big part of that - super foods are a highlight, while a self-serve ice cream machine has been very popular with the kids.

There also is a range of smoothies to enjoy, with hemp seeds and chia seeds among the extra ingredients on offer.

Ms Robertson has "grown up in restaurants”, with hospitality in the blood.

She was born in Thailand where her family owned restaurants.

She moved to Australia when it was time for school, and became a student at Lennox Head Public School.

Her father, Paul, has lived in Lennox Head since the late 1960s, and was part of the surfing crew who came to the coastal village chasing waves.

Ms Robertson has worked in other cafes in Lennox Head.

Her local connections mean that many of the ingredients used at Papaya are locally sourced, then prepared in-house.

"You can't get much better than that,”she said.

Within the first two weeks, the cafe has proved very popular with locals and visitors alike, with takeaway available so you can enjoy the ”good vibes” food by the beach.

And there will be more treats coming as Ms Robertson wants to build collaborations with other local chefs, with plans to hold pop-up nights showcasing international flavours.

Papaya at Lennox Head is open seven days a week, from 6am into the evenings.