It looks like a cleaner, brighter, but more artfully rustic version of the old-time grocery store. If you’ve ever visited a Mother Dairy in Delhi, you’ll know what we mean. It’s narrow, long and inside are shelves made of wooden crates where produce is stacked pell-mell. There’s no plastic in sight. Welcome to the next stage of DIY, zero-waste grocery shopping.
This is the Farmers’ Store, with “farmers” in plural. Here is where suburban Mumbaikars can shop for certified organic, fresh from the soil fruits and veggies, without having to wait for Sunday to roll around. Indeed, the shop is an outcropping of the regular Sunday Farmers’ Markets started by Kavita Mukhi, the best recognized champion of India’s farm-to-fork and organic food movement. (Even if you don’t know her face, you probably know her from her Conscious Foods brand.)
Co-founders Rahul Pabreja and Mithran Jayan have been part of the local farmers’ market scene and had a vision of extending that platform to people who’d like to shop at their convenience, any time of the week, rather than only four mornings a month. They agreed that a brick-and-mortar a store was the next necessary step. Their vision of healthfulness, as well as minimizing their ecological footprint, informs every decision they’ve taken about the store, from displays and packaging to sourcing and pricing.
To that end, all the produce — from locally sourced millet to aubergines, from leafy greens to aromatic onions — is stored in bulk. It is not packaged, nor is it tied with rubber bands or twist-ties; instead customers have to bring their own jars, bags, tubs, bottles, containers and fill them up. All purchases are weighed and then charged. Liquids are in glass bottles, from flavored kombucha to grass-fed cow ghee. There’s even free-range eggs in the fridge. Spices and essential oils are all sourced ethically. A raw bar is in the works and soon you’ll be able to stop in for a lush salad if you’re in the neighborhood.
According to Pabreja, farmers get only 15 percent of whatever we buy from the markets and mandis. But, all the organic suppliers to The Farmers’ Store get up to 95 percent of the selling price.
To really feel the connection, get there early on any morning and you can see the produce come in, straight from the farms.
Visit: Shop G1, Siffin Apts, Next To Vijaya Bank, Dr BR Ambedkar Road, Pali Village, Bandra West, Mumbai 400050
Phone: +91 98190 00300
Timings: 09:00 hours to 21:00 hours, daily
Engage online: The store has fun posts, of course, but they also have a community that regularly asks for recommendations — and receives answers.
Join the conversation at: https:/www.facebook.com/TheFarmersStoreIn/
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