Here are the best bulk stores and wholefood shops in Adelaide and surrounding suburbs for zero waste and package free food items. Find zero waste grains, legumes, flour, olive oil, teas, herbs and even chocolate and desserts.
Package free and wholefood shopping has existed for as long as I can remember, however 25 years ago it would require special trips to find the few that were around and we were all probably using a lot less packaging back then and far less concerned about it.
Most people are within close proximity to a good health food shop that can supply freshly ground peanut or almond butter, along with snacks, cereals and grains that can be purchased unpackaged. BUT there is often not a large enough variety to fully stock your pantry and if you’re like me, you don’t want to drive to ten different locations to find what you need!
I have compiled a list of some of the best locations around Adelaide for bulk foods, making it easier to find everything you need and items you didn't even know you needed.
This is a great way to shop more sustainably and buy only what you require, while supporting smaller and local businesses rather than the big supermarket chains.
Goodies & Grains
Location: Shop 21/22 Adelaide Central Market, Gouger Street, Adelaide
Goodies & Grains is one my favourite place to shop and they have been there for about 20 years. The shop provides a huge range of staples and specialty items and has a focus on Australian sources.
This is a great place to purchase oats, breakfast cereals, rice and a variety of legumes completely package free. You will also find dried fruit, nuts, chocolate and snacks here, along with herbs and spices, nut butters, olive oil and more. I find this store particularly useful as it also stocks a good range of dairy free and gluten free items.
Goodies and Grains products can also be found in some Foodland stores and other locations. Although they are packaged, most come in handy containers that can be reused next time you visit their store.
Location: Stall 73, Adelaide Central Market, Gouger Street, Adelaide
The House of Health is another favourite and has a great selection of organic bulk foods, and as the name suggests, are focussed on health and wellness. They stock a range of legumes, rice, nuts, sulphur free dried fruit and seeds. You can even enjoy their dairy free soft serve ice-cream while you shop for your package free bulk granola.
I am completely in love their range of nut butters which include macadamia butter, snickers spread or pecan pie, gingerbread spread, Nutella nut butter and more.
Seriously, do check them out on their Facebook page, but be warned, you will be drooling over their incredible raw, healthy desserts and YES you can get them plastic free.
Want to know more, have a listen to their interview on Radio Adelaide debunking the 'superfood' myth (they really do care about keeping us healthy).
-Shop 50a The Grove Shopping Centre, The Golden Way, Golden Grove
-Shop T35 Brickworks Marketplace, Cnr Ashwin Parade and South Road, Torrensville
One aspect I find challenging of trying to live zero waste is missing out on common convenience items. Well, this shop stocks convenience jars to make yummy food at home, such as Spicy Dahl and Seedy Crackers (Gluten Free), with all the ingredients packed in plus the recipe of course.
With 2 handy locations in Adelaide (plus an online shop), the Field Wholefoods has a fabulous range including the usuals along with chocolate, teas, spices and some hard to get items like dried mulberries, wild figs, organic quinoa flour and beetroot powder (great for homemade blush by the way). Check out their product range here, and double check with the store before visiting to make sure they have your specific specialty items.
Location: Shop 20, Central Market Arcade, Gouger St, Adelaide
If you haven't visited this shop then you haven't lived. As a self confessed honey lover, I have been going here ever since I can remember. This is the one place I know I can always get kangaroo Island honey, which if you don't know, is particularly special as it is made from the Ligurian Bee and maybe it is my Italian background, but this is the honey of all honeys. They have so many honey flavours to choose from and you can taste test as well as bring your own containers to refill.
You wont find grains, beans and standard pantry foods here, but you will find items like bee pollen, beeswax, clays, lanolin, shea butter, cocoa butter in bulk along with Olive oil, cleaning and bath products and package free soaps.
One of the big attractions for me is their stock of teas, herbs and spices which include wattle seeds, Thai spice mix, chai tea, milk thistle, lemon myrtle, nettle, marshmallow root, organic lavender and so much more. If you want to know what else they have, check out their list of bulk teas and herbs here or give them a call.
Be prepared for a bit of a line up at the checkout though during peak times it really does get busy in here.
Location: 44 Henley Beach Road, Mile End
Run by Fabian and Melanie, this shop has a bit of old world charm about it and they really care about their customers and community. These guys stock all sorts of things and it is a bit of a one stop shop including fresh organic produce and specialty gourmet items (they have some amazing dairy free cheeses that aren't plastic free, but are local and very addictive).
You will find a good selection of pantry staples in the bulk food section including grains, flours, legumes, nuts and seeds, chocolate chips and more. You can refill your olive oil, vinegar, shampoo, laundry liquid and lots more. They also stock some handy zero waste items, non-toxic skincare and natural toothpastes.
My favourite part of this shop is their herbs and tea section which is displayed in jars on beautiful shelving and I can never go past the chamomile flowers or matcha tea powder. You can refill your own containers , or if you forget, they do provide paper bags for teas, and some glass containers for liquids like olive oil and vinegar.
You can get yourself a membership for deals, discounts and newsletters, which personally I have found really valuable and well worth the fee, especially to keep up with their community events, guest speakers, product tastings and classes. Check them out here, or just head into the store (they are open every day except Tuesdays)
Location: Australia Wide, Online,
Shop 5, Mitcham Square, Belair Road, Mitcham,
Shop 8, Bayside Village Shopping Centre, Glenelg
The Source Bulk Foods, a UK company, has a growing number of stores, up to 40 around Australia at the last count. In Adelaide, you can find them in Glenelg and Mitcham and of course, you can purchase items online.
You will find all the usual wholefoods here plus unusual items such as banana flour and ground beetroot along with indigenous herbs, seeds and teas. Bring your own containers or make use of the paper bags provided.
They stock some amazing foods, but not all the essentials at each store, which is understandable. I was a little disappointed at my last visit to the Glenelg store as they had no oatmeal or oregano and didn’t have a particular legume I was after. It is a small shop, so I can hardly fault them for not stocking every single ingredient and it is definitely still worth the visit. If you do go, try out the giant freeze dried chocolate strawberries!
I don't visit this place often, as I try to support local as much as possible and I feel this is a franchise that may push out the family run businesses I have loved and adored in Adelaide for so many years. I think this is a bit of a hangover from my childhood when it was so hard to get hold of allergy friendly foods and it has made me very appreciative of small businesses that were prepared to stock unusual foods and support greener lifestyles.
Locations include Port Adelaide, Henley Beach, North Adelaide, Fairview Park, Pasadena and more.
I love how Romeo's is creating bulk food areas all over Adelaide BUT really wish I could search for a participating store more easily. I have noticed some stores stock paper bags while others stock plastic, so try to bring your own. So far, I’ve been bringing my own bags, but it’s nice to have the paper bag option for when I forget. This is convenient as you can do other grocery shopping at the same location, but the range is honestly not nearly as good as the other locations in the list and I've heard several rumours that some stores are actually faking the bulk option.
What does this mean? Well, staff have apparently been sighted refilling the bulk bins with 1 kg plastic bags of products from the shelf. For me, this completely defeats the purpose of shopping bulk and if I saw this happening in my local shop I would feel cheated thinking I was shopping more ecofriendly when I really wasn't. I am still sitting on the fence on this issue, so Decide for yourself, and keep an eye on store practices. Personally, I haven't seen this happen, but I am on the lookout for it.
I do find it super useful for Halloween or parties as I can easily stock up on junk food like lollies and chocolates and skip all the soft plastic packaging. To find out more about them, head here.
Location: 7/61 O’Sullivan Beach Road, Lonsdale SA 5160
Located in the southern suburb of Lonsdale, boasts over 500 different products including the usual pantry staples like legumes, flours, nuts, seeds plus 10kg bags of bread mix, glace fruit, chocolates, lollies, protein powders, soaps, the list goes on.
It's a bit like a wholesale place, but everyday people like you and me can head there and fill our bags with bulk foods! Not everything is available to put in your own containers or bags, but you can always ask AND they are currently trialling compostable bags and are committed to reducing single-use plastic in their shop.
If you want to check out their products and pricing before you go, just head to their page here
You may also want to take a look at this HUGE list of Plastic-free and zero waste shops around Adelaide
When you can't get to a bulk store, here are some tips to help you do a supermarket shop with less waste. It's not perfect, but there are plenty of things you can begin to avoid right away.