Story and photo by Gareth Kelly
Gunter Ternes grew up in Germany in a wealthy family and later went to school to study medicine. One day while driving on the autobahn, Ternes witnessed a horrific car accident. This was in a time before seat belts, and Ternes witnessed both the driver and passenger being flung from the car. Stopping to help, Ternes found the driver, a male, was dead. Turning his attention to the other passenger, a female; she grabbed him and asked, “My husband is he ok? Is he dead?” Even though his medical training had taught him to lie, Ternes couldn’t, and he informed the lady that her husband was indeed dead.
“It turns out both the lady and her husband were doctors,” said Ternes. “When we got to the hospital I was reprimanded for telling her the truth. Luckily the lady recovered, and she asked to see me. I went into her room and she thanked me. Thanked me for telling her the truth and not lying. She said it had made her revaluate how she practiced medicine. It was at that moment I realized I no longer wanted to practice medicine if it meant I had to lie to people. I returned home and told my folks I no longer wanted to study medicine and decided to go to India.”
During his time in India Ternes studied holistic medicine, herbs and other more natural solutions to human ailments. He realized medicine should not be about profit but about helping people and communities. In 2006, Ternes found himself in San Luis Obispo where he started New Earth Super Foods. A supplier of some of the finest organic foods one can find.
“We opened the café in January 2014. It’s been a bigger success than I ever imagined,” Ternes said. “We have two different soups made daily, a juice and smoothie bar, freshly made salads, gluten free breads, and many pro biotics, powders, shakes and desserts. We are really doing something special here. Something really unique. We make everything ourselves in our commercial kitchen either here or at our facility in Arroyo Grande. Years ago I got local farmers to grow the types of berries we want if I assured them I would buy them from them. Luckily they agreed so we have control of the entire process from the seeds being planted to putting them on your plate.”
Ternes motivation is not profit. He believes people are realizing traditional medicines and traditional drugs are only keeping people sick. He’s careful to note he does not prescribe medicine but he informs and educates and encourages people to inform themselves.
“When people think of health food they think of stuff that doesn’t taste that good,” he said. “I myself have struggled with it. I decided there must be a way to replace bad food with good food that tastes not only good but also amazing. Our pizzas have been selling like crazy and we hope to expand on our range with things like burritos and ice cream.”
It’s clear that Ternes has incredible passion for what he does. Food is literally our fuel and Ternes is on a single-minded mission to improve that food helping people and communities along the way.
Step inside the New Earth Super Foods Café at 942 Chorro St., in San Luis Obispo and Ternes and his amazing staff will not only be happy to share their incredible food with you but they may also be able to help change your life.
New Earth Super Foods Café is open Tuesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and they have a wealth of information about all the foods they offer on their website at: www.newearthsuperfoods.com
Gareth will be tucking into some sea fresh plankton when he gets home. What unusual foods keep you ticking? Email him at