Wholefoods shop relocates to offer wider range of produce

The Eat Wholefoods team: Keith, Dom, Manish, Yoko.

The Eat Wholefoods team: Keith, Dom, Manish, Yoko. - Credit: Eat Wholefoods

Eat Wholefoods is a St Albans treasure – it has been a market stall for 45 years, selling all kinds of delicious things from chocolate Brazils to chickpeas. Although very long-established, it has continued to grow and evolve, with the latest venture, a new and very shiny shop.

Tucked away near Fleetville Junior School, the old Eat Wholefoods shop was packed with interesting things, but tricky to find and needed space to grow. I went in to check out the new premises just along Hatfield Road, at no 117, in the heart of foodie Fleetville.

Eat Wholefoods in St Albans.

Eat Wholefoods in St Albans. - Credit: Eat Wholefoods

It is very nicely placed near The Fleetville Larder and Al Barka, so you can stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables, delicious cheeses and more within a short walk of each other. Get a coffee at Viento and that sounds like a very nice trip out – no supermarket needed!

The new shop has much more space, and a large window onto the road, so you can see the incredible range within. The team were busy unpacking products when I visited, and they have been working very hard to get ready for the big opening. I met new owner Manish, who is so full of enthusiasm for the business, and its sustainable credentials, which really have led the way locally.

He has many plans for the future, such as bringing the community in to try new foods, further extending the range, continuing to support local groups such as St Albans Homeless, and much more. Patrick will be helping with the handover for a while yet and then will be spending more time on his photography and writing. Keith will continue to be on the market stall and shop, and Yoko will be in the shop, so there will still be the familiar faces we all know.

Although long-established, Eat Wholefoods leads the way with new ingredients. Kimchi, kombucha, barley malt and coconut flour anyone? You can get them all here. I recommend taking a good look around – Eat Wholefoods sell an impressive range of products, with many things you just can’t buy anywhere else.

The Eat Wholefoods shop.

The Eat Wholefoods shop. - Credit: Eat Wholefoods

Everywhere you look there is something interesting, from fresh tofu to valerian tea. Let’s look at the shelves – I spot aduki beans, black beluga lentils, black beans, chickpeas, lentils, cannellini beans, haricot, red kidney, pinto, mung beans and more. Most of the pulses they sell are organic. Use these to make chillis, soups, curries, stews, bakes, dips and wraps – animal protein is so last year.

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Almonds, cashews, macadamias, hazelnuts… and I can spot all sorts of seeds and seed mixes. I love pumpkin seeds and sprinkle them on salads and soups all the time – an easy way to add nutrients to your meals.

They have everything you need for breakfast too, with granolas and grains, muesli mixes and oat milk to go with. Keith mentioned that Nicky from Dizzy Bee Granola gets her ingredients from the shop, and they love seeing all their regular customers – Adam from Mungo’s Kitchen stocks up here too, as does Alec Tomasso aka The Weeping Chef.

Their snack range is very more-ish, with chocolate covered nuts of all kinds, Bombay mix, chili and lime fava beans (love these), halva, crystalised ginger… oh and dark chocolate covered blueberries! You can also stock up on vinegars, oils, tamari, spices, passata, miso, kimchi and nut butters. There’s a great range of baking goods, such as pectin, ready for preserve-making, and flours, including gluten-free flours.

The clear packaging you will see in the shop isn’t plastic – it’s a plant fibre, which is great news if you are trying to cut back on your single-use plastic consumption. It does beg the question, if small suppliers like this can use cellulose packaging, why can’t bigger companies?

With more space in the new shop, the team have been able to expand the refill section, so you can stock up on your dried pasta, nuts, grains and pulses, and also your soaps and lotions (they supply Faith in Nature and Ecoleaf).

The online shop is still available, and has really grown in the past two years, so head over to www.eatwholefoods.co.uk for the full range and delivery options. Do go and visit them in the new shop and support local – the next 45 years look very bright for Eat Wholefoods.