Bill Hadikin celebrated the first anniversary of his restaurant

Bill Hadikin celebrated the first anniversary of his restaurant

Raw food restaurant says business booming

Look just past the well-known fast-food vendors in Royal Oak Shopping Centre, and you’ll find a vegan paradise.

Look just past the well-known fast-food vendors in Royal Oak Shopping Centre, and you’ll find a vegan paradise.

Rawthenic Eatery quietly celebrated its one-year anniversary last week, and business is strong.

Anyone who stopped in on that Thursday would have noticed owner Bill Hadikin, the 43-year-old owner from Qualicum Beach, preparing made-to-order wraps on a flatbread of soaked grains and seeds, laden with fresh veggies and spreads. Hadikin visits his Royal Oak store once a week, otherwise he’s tending to his other two shops in Qualicum and Courtenay.

A fourth operation could be on the horizon, he says.

“People come in people thinking I’m an extremist, but I’m just trying to be a healthy eater,” Hadikin says.

Rawthentic’s cafe-style store offers a cast of main dishes including pasta with zucchini noodles and a full menu of juices, protein smoothies and green drinks (with fibre). All sauces, spreads and juices are prepared or pressed from scratch.

Hadikin’s journey to raw foods was a long time coming. He had been serving at The Keg and other restaurants when he first made a commitment to health 12 years ago. His partner at the time had been to a seminar extolling the virtues of raw food. Though she immediately embarked on a raw food diet, he didn’t. Instead, he set out to eat the same way as always, but renewed his dedication to exercising with a minimum of four workouts per week.

“I was disciplined, I stuck to it,” he says.

At the nine-month mark, however, Hadikin endured a sobering moment.

“I had just scored a bunch of goals for my hockey team and after the game the heaviest guy on my team told me, ‘Hey Bill, for a (big) guy you’re pretty good,’” Hadikin recalls.

He took a long look in the mirror.

“My wife had lost 50 pounds and I had lost about 10 pounds,” he says.

Hadikin joined his wife and dropped 55 pounds off his 230-pound frame. About five years into his new diet, the former top level rugby player enjoyed the best hockey tournament of his life at 37 years old.

“It was the best shape I was ever in. My body heals so much faster now. I had left rugby because I thought I was old, I was getting injured often, but really, I just wasn’t eating a proper diet,” he says.

Among the many adventures that come with opening up one of the more unique food establishments in the region is when customers – some who have misconceptions about raw and vegan food – want an education.

“I don’t preach, I’m not a preachy guy,” Hadikin says. “It started out so we could have a healthy family. And you don’t have to eat raw food all the time, it’s something you ease into and learn about.”

Rawthentic’s customer base is comprised of vegans and non-vegans, mostly between the ages of 25 to 40, though there is a contingent aged 40 to 55.

Hadikin now targets a raw food diet about 80-per-cent of the time, and doesn’t stress if it drops off.

“The key is making a smoothie to start the day, then you’re one third there, but don’t worry about being 100 per cent. Start slow and work your way up,” he says.

Rawthentic Eatery is located at 108 – 4440 West Saanich Rd.

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

Processed sewage is still being deposited at the Hartland landfill rather than sent as biosolids to a Richmond cement plant. (Black Press Media file photo)
Biosolids at Hartland still being placed on landfill in Saanich

Richmond cement plant up and running, but CRD end product not suitable for purpose

An SUV sits where it crashed through the front window of the 2:18 Run store in Fairfield Plaza, after the driver appeared to lose control on Monday afternoon. (Photo by Phil Nicholls)
Driver crashes through front window of Victoria running store in Fairfield

Phil Nicholls of 2:18 Run said crash sounded like an earthquake at first

Elk Lake Drive area resident Michael Blayney protests a proposed multi-building development for his Royal Oak neighbourhood, outside Saanich municipal hall on Monday (June 14). (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Demonstrators protest 11-storey development on Elk Lake Drive in Saanich

Saanich locals gather at municipal hall to protest development, public hearing goes Tuesday

Seismic upgrading and expansion work at Victoria High School is about a year behind due to pandemic-related factors, the Greater Victoria School District announced. (Photo by Cole Descoteau)
Victoria High School seismic work, expansion a year behind schedule

Greater Victoria School District now targeting September 2023 for reopening of historic school

The Greater Victoria Harbour Authority is calling on Transport Canada to rescind its ban to Feb. 28, 2022 on cruise ship stops in Canada, to allow planning to begin in advance of a reopening of the cruise industry next year.
Greater Victoria Harbour Authority seeks end to federal ban on cruise ship stops in Canada

Greater Victoria Harbour Authority CEO hopes cruises will resume by 2022

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Most Read