Lovers of good produce, and produce that is good for you, will be ecstatic to learn that a wholefood and organic emporium has opened in Crows Nest and it’s called Unique Wholefood.
It’s a time unlike any other in history for people to be focused on health – and healthy eating. Specialised diets have become a way of life for many, either by choice or consequence, and wholefoods stores have become the new one-stop shop. However, the Lower North Shore has been in dire need of a good wholefood and organic shop. Until now!
Unique Wholefood opened in Crows Nest in July to resounding applause from the local community. “There had been a large gap in the health food market for some time in the Lower North Shore,” says founder, Ben Federman. “As a resident myself, I know the frustration of having gone from multiple options in the area to none. Between my business partner, Bishnu Baniya, and myself, we know many people in the area who also felt that frustration.”
Ben has always been interested in health foods, in fact that’s how he and Bishnu met. “Bishnu managed the local shop where I was a customer for many years. Sometime after he left the business, we ran into each other and both expressed our desire to build a great health food retailer, with a focus on customer experience both online and in-store. We spent the next six months looking for the right property, which ended up being in Leichhardt. Our first instinct was to look for a property in the Lower North Shore, but there were no ideal opportunities at that time.”
Unique Wholefood first opened in Leichhardt in January 2020, while Ben and Bishnu continued to hunt for the perfect North Shore location as well. “For months we had many customers making the trip from the North side to our Leichhardt shop each week,” recalls Ben. When the space at 25 Falcon St, Crows Nest became available Ben and Bishnu knew it was the one. Within six months, and despite COVID-19 restrictions, the Crows Nest store was open as well.
“Crows Nest has seen a very positive reception from the local community,” says Ben. “We keep hearing that our customers are so glad that a health food market is back in the area. Many of our staff are familiar with our customers, which has added another layer of comfort and familiarity to our shop, even though we are a new business in the area. We made sure to give the shop a real refresh and design it in a way that customers would find easy navigating and provide a space that they feel comfortable and happy in.”
The great reception is a testament to the current demand for organic and sustainable products and wholesome wholefoods. Ben and Bishnu are very selective when it comes to what they stock. “The ethos behind our business begins with the types of products we sell and the brands and companies we work with,” says Ben. “We vet every single product to make sure that it is friendly to both the body and the environment. While we focus on many locally produced items, we are also happy to stock popular and quality brands from around the world.”
So what exactly are you likely to find in Unique Wholefood that sets it apart from the corner fruit and veg shop or the grocery store? It’s a very well-rounded list for the health conscious: 100% certified organic fruit & vegetables, pantry essentials including vegan, gluten-free, paleo & keto, natural health & beauty, body care & supplements, eco family, including baby, toddler, pet & sustainability products, and fridge & freezer of fresh dairy, meat, fish, vegan & gluten-free products.
“Personally, I love our fresh 100% certified organic produce; it is a blessing to cook with most nights,” says Ben. “I really enjoy our paleo and keto food options too, as I am often maintaining a low-carb diet. Our fresh milk, eggs and bread are customer favourites, and we stock healthy snack alternatives including confectionary, chocolate and savoury snacks like chips. Our Health & Beauty section provides chemical free and organic cosmetics, in addition to a large popular supplement range.”
Ben and Bishnu’s passion for supplying their local community with healthy options is obvious in every corner of the store. It’s also very genuine. “Ultimately, we believe health is one of our greatest assets and treasures, and we take pride in providing the communities around us with foods and products which support this ethos,” says Ben.
They’re also determined to provide great customer service. “We encourage our customers to speak with us or our staff about any questions they may have and we have a Customer Product Form that is available at our registers for customers who want a product we don’t currently stock or is out of stock. We follow up every form with a phone call to update our customers on whether or not the product is back in stock or if we can order it in. Our staff are also available to help our customers with shopping bags to their cars if needed, and we are always up for a friendly chat. We are a small Australian owned business that supports Australian farmers and other local businesses. We sell products that don’t harm the environment. So if you are looking to take care of your health or you want an alternative to the large chains in the area, please come visit us!”
You can find Unique Wholefood at 25 Falcon St, Crows Nest