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Organic original

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: May 09, 2013

Woodruffs in Stroud; right, counter assistant Amelia Davis

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THERE are plenty of newcomers on the Stroud cafe scene. But some have stood the test of time.

It's 15 years since Woodruffs Organic Cafe opened and at the time it was the UK's first fully organic cafe.

It's proved to be no fly-by-night vision. Indeed Holly Puttock, who began work behind the counter, has now been at the helm for 10 years.

It's stuck to a formula and has built up a loyal clientele. On the busy Saturday when we visited we struggled to get a table. It's a popular destination for hungry farmers' market shoppers.

Although the room at the front upstairs is the most appealing space, the children's play area in the family room makes it a good choice for couples like us, with two little ones in tow.

The toys and stair gate keep them in one place and make it possible to enjoy eating in peace.

The extensive and vegetarian menu focuses on healthy dishes and great flavours.

My companion avoids dairy food but special diets are no problem at Woodruffs.

His main course, a Greek mezze platter (£9.25), was a tasty array of flavours – falafels, humous, feta, olives and sun-dried tomatoes with warmed pitta.

Like most of Woodruffs' main dishes, salad is not an afterthought. It came with a generous serving of leaves but also some lovely seeds and a dish of roasted vegetables.

My taco chips and chilli (£8.95) was also good. The chilli, a vegetarian concoction with plenty of beans and a kick to it, was served with salsa, sour cream and melted cheese. My only complaint was that my children stole my tacos.

They weren't quite so happy with their vegetarian sausages in a roll (£4.95). These were high quality tofu bangers, but my children are reluctant to try the unfamiliar.

I wish I'd ordered from Woodruffs' excellent and affordable children's menu which includes favourites such as baked potatoes and beans and cheese sandwiches from £1.50.

I'm a regular drinker of Woodruffs' excellent coffee but there's a vast array of teas, vegetable juices and smoothies for the non-caffeine heads.

With friendly service, while busy at weekends, it's no surprise that Woodruffs remains a Stroud favourite.

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