Run by the very cool and energetic couple couple Guy and Ellie, The Grocer & Co is situated on the one way street of McNamara Lane, it has become a hot spot for everything healthy and delicious and caters for those in Orange and surrounding areas who believe in using organic produce and products.
The Grocer & Co Organics source their products and produce from a variety of suppliers around the Central West and with the abundance of delicious produce available in our region, it’s not hard to find something yummy in store. You’re guaranteed to find something good, whether it be a delicious gluten free breakfast plate , their decadent fluffy ricotta hotcakes with caramelised banana and honeycomb butter or my personal favourite the vietnamese rice paper rolls with dipping sauce which are all made in house, or you can conveniently take home one of their famous produce boxes which are filled with delicious organic goodies.
I recently caught up with Ellie, a multi-tasking genius who juggles motherhood and business like a boss! If you head into the Grocer & Co, you’ll know who she is, she’s the one cruising around with a smile on her face and is always up for a chat.
You’re not originally from Orange, so what drew you to our neck of the woods?
We were living in Canberra and entertaining the idea of a change in lifestyle. We kept spending weekends away in various places thinking “could we live here?”. Then in January 2012 we spent a weekend in Orange with the whole family for my cousin’s wedding – and that was it! My whole family really loved Orange and we did too; it had everything we were looking for. We moved the December of that year.
Ellie wears Spell Gypsy Dancer Boho Mini in Caviar and Dept. of Finery Natasha Slide.
Why do you think organic produce and products have become so popular over the last few years?
How much time do you have?? I could be on a soap box all day on this topic! I like to think that people are becoming more conscious about their health, the importance of the prevention of illness, and the health of our planet. In a world that is so fast paced, I think that so many people have lost sight of the importance of how, and what, we eat.
I believe that in a world where toxins and pollution is so prevalent around us in a way that we cannot actively control, that if we can reduce the toxins and chemicals we put on, and into, our bodies, we should! Lessening the toxic load gives our body a chance to function as the amazing and efficient machine that it is.
There is also so much waste, so much starvation in the world, and so much of what we eat is fast, cheap and easy. When people are mindful and invest in good food, they also tend to eat more mindfully and use what they buy. Organics and whole foods, being nutritionally dense, also means that less is more…
Did you grow up in an organic household?
Yes. So I guess that makes is easy for me to preach. Mum is a Naturopath and nutritionist and comes from a medical background – so it’s always been about healthy, unprocessed foods and chemical free products in the bathroom and around the home.
Your menu is delicious and I’m sure this is a tough question, but what is your favourite meal or drink?
Oooooh. I start my day with coffee (coffee is a given…Henry (my son) often thinks that sleep is overrated, I don’t) and usually a smoothie as that’s what Henry likes – fruit, yoghurt, kefir, raw egg, honey, cinnamon and milk. But at the moment I guess my go to lunch is the Vietnamese chicken and raw vegetable rice paper rolls….and coffee. But I should probably say turmeric latte or green tea.
What percentage of produce and products do you source locally?
With fresh produce this goes up and down depending on the season – but right now we have heaps! Cabbages, broccoli, potatoes, leek, celery, silver beet, lettuce, beetroot, asparagus, and garlic is about a week off. The rest is always Australian grown and from the East Coast (saving on green miles). We have a number of regionally sourced products on the shelves too – from Junee to the Blue Mountains. Beyond that we actively look for Australian products first.
Have you got any health tips that you can share with us?
Eat well and stay active! High protein, fruit and vegetables and lots of good fats is what works well for me. It gives me energy and keeps me going. And never underestimate the importance of foods like sauerkrauts and kefirs. Gut health is key.
You’re a busy woman! When you have time for yourself, what do you like to do ?
What is that? Lol. When I carve out Ellie time I usually do something that makes me feel cared for, like get a manicure or a massage. Or organise cupboards at home whilst listening to bad 90’s music really loudly. If my space is uncluttered I function better. I also do a workout or two every week with Monique at Tough Love. That’s a must. A good boxing sesh can make all the difference to my mood and energy levels.
What’s your best working-mum advice?
Be kind to yourself and don’t expect to finish your to do list every day. And let the endless cycle of washing go – your washing basket will NEVER be empty. EVER AGAIN. And to take my own advice.
Lastly, what is your favourite brand at Belle Armoire and why?
Finders Keepers – I have lived in a pair of their striped trousers. They’ve become an easy go to piece that always makes me look like I’ve had the time to style an outfit.