Ouroboros Wholefoods Cafe draws its name from one of the world’s oldest mystical symbols. The snake eating its own tail means infinity, wholeness and continuous renewal, and as owner Manny Tzirtzilakis adds: “you are what you eat.”

Manny took over the Devonshire Street cafe in 2015 after the decision to leave his seventeen-year long career in the pharmaceuticals industry.

But he hasn’t made a complete departure from his old line of work – Manny’s still in the business of looking after people and their health.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” a quote from Hippocrates is painted across a plant-covered feature wall, an homage to Manny’s Greek upbringing.

“My parents are from Crete, and we grew up on the Mediterranean diet – good, wholesome food,” he says. “Everything we sell here is homemade and fresh. Nothing is frozen or premade.”

Manny cold presses the juices himself each morning and sources the cafe’s seasonal produce from small growers at Flemington Markets.

Ouroboros caters for raw, vegan and paleo diets, with coffee by Melbourne roasters Veneziano.

“Gone are the days where people say ‘oh, it’s vegan, it’s boring.’ More people are coming on board and embracing the new developments in food.”

One such development is hemp – one of the highest sources of plant-based protein is now appearing in food, milk and beer.

Businesses along Devonshire Street have been some of the hardest hit by the light rail construction. Manny had to take on a second job in the peak of construction so he could keep all of his staff employed.

But the clouds are beginning to lift, he says, and foot traffic is growing every day as the construction draws to a very welcomed close.

“We’ve got a massive loyal customer base that supports us through thick and thin and we’re very grateful for that.”

Ouroboros Wholefoods Cafe
1/118 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills
Instagram: @ouroboros_cafe