After a year selling fresh produce at local farmers’ markets, Nathan Smith was after a dedicated space for his business to grow. “We got sick of getting rained on, and it was always a problem dealing with waste produce at the end of the week,” he says. Smiths Organic Markets is the answer, opened recently in a former convenience store on Queen Street.
Bright and open, a giant shelf runs the length of one wall stocked with Australian certified organic produce and pantry items such as Organic Bread Bar loaves and biodynamic eggs from northern New South Wales. “We source all our own produce, and get everything from as close as we can,” Smith says. “If there’s a choice of carrots from Victoria or Tasmania, we’ll choose Victoria.”
Offering an in-house takeaway range means the chance to transform leftovers into wholesome goods. “Greens on sale today will be in the juice or salads tomorrow, so nothing comes out again. We’ve tried to structure this so the waste is really minimal,” says Smith. The selection changes daily and includes cold-pressed juices such as the ‘liver lover’, which blends carrot, beetroot, lemon and cucumber. Pineapple, apple, carrot and orange go into the ‘immune booster’. There are also raw salads such as cumin-spiced cauliflower ‘rice’ with capsicum and cashew sauce. For a healthy dessert or sweet breakfast, try chia seed puddings, granolas and fruit salads featuring nuts activated in-house. “We’re trying to keep everything as whole as possible.”
The feel of the space itself carries as much importance as the products. “The shopping experience has become pretty clichéd, everybody’s doing the same thing,” says Smith, who has used recycled wine crates to hold fruit and veg, Ghanaian woven baskets in place of plastic carriers, and colourful hand-knits to adorn light fixtures. Pass the shop at night and you’ll be met with empty shelves. “It’s basically like a market. You pack up at the end of every day, and each day we start with something fresh and new.”
Smiths Organic Markets
146 Queen Street, Woollahra
(02) 9363 2860