Mak­ing the or­ganic com­mit­ment

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - SEVEN DAYS -

Back in 2008, Dar­ren Grant opened the first branch of The Or­ganic Su­per­mar­ket in the Dublin sea­side sub­urb of Black­rock. It’s un­likely that this for­mer Global Se­nior Man­ager at Dell planned his new ven­ture to co­in­cide with a global re­ces­sion but, tim­ing chal­lenges notwith­stand­ing, his busi­ness has now ex­panded to in­clude branches in Malahide and Rath­gar.

The Rath­gar branch, which is the com­pany’s flag­ship store, holds true to The Or­ganic Su­per­mar­ket’s com­mit­ment to sourc­ing and sell­ing ex­cel­lent or­ganic goods and lo­cal or­gan­ics where pos­si­ble. It’s stocked with stal­warts such as Doves Farm or­ganic flours and or­ganic wines, which share the shelves with lo­cal food stars such as Moss­field Or­ganic Farm dairy prod­ucts, Coolanowle Or­ganic Farm meats and Tar­tine Or­ganic Bak­ery. The fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles are sourced from sup­pli­ers like Christy Sta­ple­ton in Kil­te­gan, Co Wick­low.

The store is also home to The Or­ganic Kitchen. Un­der the steer­age of head chef Julien Thion, the team cre­ate ready meals and freshly baked goods for in store and on­line. From the on­line store, a large Veg Box Sub­scrip­tion costs ¤25 per week. There are also smoothie and juic­ing boxes, as well as the op­tion to buy or­ganic and eco-friendly house­hold prod­ucts and pantry goods.

You can or­der a Tar­tine Bak­ery bread sub­scrip­tion or 500g pots of or­ganic ginger and beet­root soup (¤4.25) and spicy In­dian dhal (¤5.95). The on­line shop de­liv­ers to all 32 coun­ties in Ire­land, though some of The Or­ganic Kitchen prod­ucts are lim­ited to Dublin and same day de­liv­ery only.

Or­ganic is of­ten per­ceived as more ex­pen­sive but that’s not the ex­pe­ri­ence with a speedy lunch from The Or­ganic Kitchen, which matches the prices of other delis. The New Delhi (¤5.50) is a tasty Corona­tion-style chicken sand­wich, made with or­ganic chicken. Prac­ti­cally all of the in­gre­di­ents in the sand­wiches are or­ganic, though some uch as sea salt, are marked as non-or­ganic where ap­pli­ca­ble.

A half-filled small salad box comes to ¤2.95 in weight. There are about 10 sal­ads in the salad bar, a mix of potato and pasta sal­ads, quinoa and shred­ded veg­etable sal­ads. A flat white (¤2.50), made with Vil­lage Dairy or­ganic milk and McCabe’s or­ganic cof­fee, is well made and served in a 100 per cent com­postable cup. The trick is for the cus­tomer to re­mem­ber to throw the cup and its com­postable lid into a com­post as op­posed to a re­cy­cling bin.

“I can’t de­cide which cake is my favourite,” says the team mem­ber mak­ing my cof­fee. “I love the ba­nana bread... but I think the ve­gan car­rot cake is the best.” The ve­gan car­rot cake is ¤2.95 for a gen­er­ous square and it’s a tri­umph in dairy-free bak­ing, par­tic­u­larly the ic­ing which has the light­ness of a sug­ary meringue mix with none of the egg.

On the com­pany’s web­site, a case is made for why shop­pers might choose or­ganic. The lack of ad­di­tives, pes­ti­cides and GM are noted, as well as an­i­mal and en­vi­ron­men­tal wel­fare. The prices at The Or­ganic Su­per­mar­ket can’t com­pete with bud­get su­per­mar­kets, but no small in­de­pen­dent busi­nesses can. Though the worth­while ar­gu­ment over whether it’s bet­ter to shop lo­cal rather than or­ganic rages on, if you have the abil­ity to spend a lit­tle bit more, with all the as­so­ci­ated ben­e­fits to your health and the en­vi­ron­ment that your shop­ping choices can bring, The Or­ganic Su­per­mar­ket make that choice an easy one.

See or­gan­ic­su­per­mar­ket.ie

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