Eating To Good Health

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Combining an interest in nutrition and dietary health with experience in hospitality, saw Phil Dawson opening Ruby Lane in Manly.

He told COVERED. why his new venture is about building a business, a lifestyle and awareness about healthy eating choices.

Competing in triathlons and committed to strenuous training regimes, Phil believed he was living a fairly healthy life. But when he found himself lacking in energy and began experiencing digestive issues, he had to rethink.

What he learned about nutrition and health through personal experience he brought to Ruby Lane when it opened 18 months ago.

“I took a step back and cut down on my training and sorted out my digestion. My wife and I got our diets in a good way but we realised none of our friends knew about it and we wanted to be able to share what we knew with people,” he explains.

Phil, who is Northern Beaches born and bred, lives in Manly Vale and attended the International College of Management (ICMS), in Manly. His career in hospitality includes several years working for the Keystone Group in various roles and running a café in Sydney, before deciding to open a business in his childhood suburb.

“It made sense to do the two things – the health conscious eating and the hospitality - together and tell the story through the café. This is the sort of food that will make you feel good afterwards,” he enthuses.

His family began shopping at organic markets, ensuring everything they bought was pesticide free and making everything from scratch. He insists on the same standards at Ruby Lane.

“It starts with food that is good for you but that leads into ethical sourcing and not just the food but also where you are getting it from, and it then becomes about food that is also good for the planet,” he adds.

What began as building a healthy lifestyle for his family, including his two boys aged 18 months and four and half years, has grown into promoting these health conscious choices to a much wider audience.

Phil says it is about building a community of like minded people from the customers to the suppliers and staff, to the businesses he associates with from yoga schools to organic farmers.

“To be able to come in for a coffee and try things that can be better for you and have a better outcome and to have an effect, that’s what we hoped for from Ruby Lane,” he says.

And with a growing number of customers and dare we say, converts to good ‘clean’ food, it seems the business is doing just that.

Ruby Lane
Shops 1&2, 200 Pittwater Rd Manly
02 9977 7386

Café & Grocer: 7am-4pm;
Kitchen: 7am-2:30pm; Friday & Saturday
Dinners: 5pm-10:30pm BYO and licensed for cocktails, wine and beer.