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March 24, 2015

Making friends with salad: Jack Greens

A seamless and tasty execution of the healthy fast food concept will see Waymouth Street's Jack Greens quickly settle in as a favourite lunch spot for city dwellers.

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  • Pictures: Josie Withers
  • Words: Farrin Foster

Salad, and the idea that you should eat it reasonably often to remain healthy, is not new. But making the eating of salad a palatable and enjoyable experience is certainly one of the latest, greatest things to hit Adelaide.


You can find Jack Greens at 36 Waymouth Street, Adelaide. They’re open from Monday to Friday between 6.30am and 5pm. Keep an eye on the website for when their online ordering and catering services begin operation.

Jack Greens is perhaps the most sophisticated health-focussed fast food place to appear in the city so far. Owned and run by friends Wade Galea and James Marshall, the Waymouth Street café melds an on-point interior with good produce shaped into salad form by a chef who clearly understands flavour.

The idea for Jack Greens actually occurred to James and Wade separately. James was struck by the need for quick healthy lunches whilst working as a marine engineer in Melbourne and Wade developed an awareness of the niche as he moved around the world running events and working in hospitality.

It was when they both moved to Adelaide – the hometown of their respective wives – that it seemed realistic to make something of their shared plan.

“We wanted to do this because we have young children and there are not many healthy fast food concepts out there,” says Wade. “So we love this concept and we’ll hopefully have the ability to grow this business and our kids will have somewhere healthy and fun to eat at.”

The menu is focussed – consisting of breakfast pots, salads with a base of either grains or greens, seasonal options and the promise of soups and warm grain bowls to come with the colder weather.

It’s all very healthy and delicious, but that’s only part of what James and Wade are setting out to do.

“It’s also really important to us that with our brand people know what they’re getting when they walk in the door. Whatever it is they’re ordering, they’ll know that we’re using local ingredients to make it,” says James.

“We’ve done a few road trips up to Virginia, up to Adelaide Hills, up to Tarlee, just to get started with some key relationships. A lot of our tomatoes and lettuces come from Virginia, our chickens come from Riverton, the eggs from Tarlee, so we’re building these relationships already but it will be something we work on each week,” adds Wade.

The same approach carries over into their coffee offering. The pair have chosen local supplier Monastery Coffee to source, design and roast a custom blend for them.

“Adam [from Monastery] is a great guy – he actually goes to Africa, he knows the farmers, it’s a massive part of it, the ethics for us. He’s paying the farmers more,” says James.

All these nice things from nice places with nice ethics are served up in the well-appointed and streamlined shopfront, which was designed and built by James and Wade themselves with considerable help from their wives.

It’s the perfect setting for the food and drinks on offer, and CityMag is sure the long term plan to open more stores is a success story in the making. After all, we did find ourselves there twice today (for coffee and lunch) so we probably had quite a good time.


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