As a lover of healthy living and health foods, you can imagine my surprise and delight to see a bulk natural food and organic cafe opening up locally. I first spotted this gorgeous new little establishment as I passed it immediately after getting on a city-bound bus. I waited in giddy anticipation for it to open, and I was definitely not disappointed.
Lured in by gushing reviews mere weeks after opening, and a photograph of an enticing iced coffee and raw brownie on Facebook, I finally managed to find time to visit Naturally Hooked Bulk Foods last week.
Naturally Hooked Bulk Foods is situated in a bright, open location, between a lawyer’s office and a gift shop in the same section of Victoria Point as Aldi and the Cineplex. Walking around the small, yet adequate sized shop, I was in health-foodie heaven, taking in the range of nuts, dark chocolate covered organic goodies (almonds, hazelnuts, goji berries to name a few!), natural flours, sugars (coconut and some others of which I am unfamiliar) and superfoods. The fridge section contained Maleny Dairy milks, Coconut Milk, Almond Milk, Coconut Yoghurts and Mousse, Kombucha, Vegan Ice-cream and organic potato wedges! They even sell cleaning supplies and natural toiletries, all locally sourced to support small businesses. And the prices. ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE. If you’re a regular health food shopper like myself, you’re familiar with that feeling of guilt you get when you spend $30 on a 1kg bag of cacao powder, or $10 on a jar of nut butter (who can resist!). But these prices were so reasonable!!! I’d go even as far as to say HALF what you would pay at Wray Organic for bulk food items.
When I commented on the price to the man who turned out to be the co-owner (along with his wife who runs the Flow Pilates reformer studio upstairs), he told me it was because they wanted this type of food to be available to everyone, the general public, not just the wealthy and super health conscious who’ll spend ridiculous amounts anyway (me). How absolutely marvellous. He then went on to tell me about how all of their products are produced locally by small businesses, detailing where different things came from. He allowed me to sample some raw vegan brownie slice (heaven!), and some chocolate covered sultanas. I then treated myself to an iced latte, unsweetened with coconut milk (for no extra charge!!) and a whole raw vegan brownie slice. The other staff members were super friendly and welcoming, giving off a very homey feel to this quaint little cafe and mini-market.
As I shopped around and picked up some of my favourites – tamari almonds, dark chocolate almonds, dark chocolate goji berries and nutritional yeast – the man observed me checking the best before date on a container of quark, which I have never tried but always intended to. Unfortunately, the best before was for that day, but the owner said, “I was about to throw those out as they’re today’s date. You’re welcome to take one if you like, just don’t eat it if it’s bad!” He laughed.
WHAT GOOD CUSTOMER SERVICE!!! I thanked him tremendously and he even gave me a two-for-one coffee coupon for next time I came in! You’ll be in supermarkets and things are past date and they still want to sell them for more than half price! I was blown away by how well I was treated and how welcome I felt. And the quark was in perfect condition! I brought Mom there the very next day to enjoy another delicious iced coconut latte and slice.
So if you love organic/health foods, want to try something a little different, or simply want a nice, bright place for a coffee, head over to Naturally Hooked Bulk Foods. I for one, am definitely already hooked.