This morning I checked out Bondi Wholefoods on the corner of Hastings and Wairoa Ave in North Bondi. It's been opened a mere 2 weeks. I had a lovely chat with Suzanne, the owner, a glowing 35 year old who is pursuing her passion in "health and longevity" (alongside her property business). She's done a great job with the fit out (slick and simple in black and white), had the foresight to include a child-friendly courtyard where kids can play, read and draw while parents shop in peace (a much needed first in the Eastern suburbs), has a counter bench and indoor and outside tables for eat-in dining and has stocked her little store with reputable high quality brands including:
* Feather and Bone pastured meats (including Burrawong chicken) * Pasture Perfect bacon * Cleopatra bath milk and cream * Ovvio teas and spices * Canadian Way raw wild salmon
The produce (fruit and veg) is all certified organic but stocks were very low this morning as the delivery had not arrived. Her idea is to have a high turnover of produce to keep it fresh. The prices for the produce seemed very reasonable (eg potatoes for $1.50/kg!). I gather her philosophy is to keep the produce prices as low as possible and charge a little more for dairy which seemed at the high end (e.g. $9.95 for a bottle of Cleos. I pay $7.95 online at www.abundantorgnaics.com.au with a further discount on top if I spend over $100).
There is a lovely selection of imported cheeses. There were no 1kg sizes of the Alpine goats yogurt or the Meredith Sheeps milk yogurt but Suzanne tells me this is just a "supply issue." The larger sizes are far more economical. And of course there's all of the usual brands and food items you would expect to find in organic stores- most of which I do not buy as they are too processed (certification means very little to me if the thing is still processed or toxic!), or I make them myself (eg activated nuts, chocolate, stock etc) or I buy in bulk at much cheaper prices (oils, vinegars, cheeses, spices, salmon etc).
The eat-in options are very grain-heavy (eg muesli, sandwiches, quiches) but there's a couple of salads and yogurt with berries.
The staff seemed friendly but apart from the owner I spared them from any tricky questions. Parking is often an issue on Wairoa street (but no more so than elsewhere around this neck of the woods- it's my one bug bear about the Eastern Suburbs!). Bondi Wholefoods has very long trading hours- open 7 days 7am-8pm.
I personally can't see myself being a frequent shopper at this store because its not geographically convenient for me - there's loads more organic stores that are more direct to where I live or drive to/from (eg Organic Paradise on Oxford Street, Bondi Health Emporium in South Bondi, Dr Earth in Oxford st mall, David Jones for pastured meat, online shopping etc). However if I lived close by I wouldn't hesitate to pop in especially for the produce or to have a coffee and read the paper.
So with Bondi Health Emporium in South Bondi, Earth Foods in central Bondi (on Gould Street) and Bondi Wholefoods in North Bondi, it seems that Australia's iconic beach suburb has got organics covered.
Have you been to Bondi Wholefoods yet? If so, what did you think??