Since moving to the Inner West of Sydney my love for independent grocery stores has grown. I find myself avoiding large corporations such as Woolworths and Coles (along with the long lines that come with them), and seeking out smaller grocery stores where the cashier remembers their local clientele (and where they have no self serve checkout so you are forced to interact with another human). Recently, I have been shopping at my local Banana Joes which is run by Food Works. I have found myself spending quite some time wandering up and down their isles. I lose myself by looking at their fresh produce, large range of vegan products, and locally made jarred good (they have at least 7 different sauerkraut flavours).
Here are 5 reasons why I think we should all seek independent grocery stores to buy our food.
1) They usually have really cool niche items. This could be Asian goods, health foods, grains and nuts etc. Banana Joes specialises in vegan products. You cannot find these specialised products in larger supermarkets. It is a vegan paradise, and extremely inspiring to try and cook with new things. Banana Joes also sells a large range of cold pressed juices, salads, sandwiches, dinner options, soups and desserts all made on site using their own produce. I recently have been using coconut aminos (featured below in photograph) on salads, and it is really tasty. Would recommend!
2) It will boost your local economy. By spending locally at independent grocery stores it allows for more locally run businesses to actually stay a float. If we all continue to shop in larger supermarkets regularly it will kill our local economy.
3) The produce and most products are sourced locally, and usually have less packaging (especially the fruits and vegetables). This means that the store is usually supporting local farmers and food suppliers. Most of the time the supply of produce is extremely fresh. My favourite part is the discounted area on fruit and vegetables for the blemished goods. It is a excellent promotion of sustainability by offering discounted prices for blemished produce instead of throwing it away.
4) You can score some good deals. Not only the blemished fruit and vegetables (like previously mentioned), but they usually have deals of the week. I find items such as avocados and mangoes .50c cheaper at Banana Joes too.
5) It builds a sense of community. Yes, I have a sense of pride when I shop at my local independent grocery store.
Does anyone else have any cool independent stores that they can share with me? Or, any other cool tips and facts?