Friday, October 24, 2008

Habib Wholefoods, or: I CityCircle it, do some exciting shoppering, and get a bit of a shock

A couple of months ago I City Circled it around from work to Flinders Organics, where I had fallen into an obsession with their Spicy Cajun Salad. I was looking for a few things – precisely what escapes me now but I assume it was of the veganny variety – but upon picking up and putting back a number of things, I realised that there was virtually nothing on my list to be had.

A man approached me and asked what I was looking for. I reluctantly told him (whatever it was; maybe Tofutti slices?), not really wanting to discuss my shoppering choices, and he told me that he had just taken over the shop in the last few days and they were looking to build up their product range. I had some reservations, given that he had never heard of whatever-it-was-which-was-common and spelled it
incorrectly, and then I City Circled it back to work and haven’t really been back since.

This lunchtime I wanted Spicy Cajun. Having read in my Guide that Flinders Organics is now Habib Wholefoods, I prepared for a little stickybeak.

Oh hooray for the Cheezly on the shelves! Hooray for the ginormous range of Tofutti ice-cream in the fridge! Hooray for the agave nectar and the light and dark syrup versions too! Hooray for the vegan ready-meals and the range of vegan waffles! Hooray for the Parmazano which I’ve been dying to try since I read about it on aduki online!

I made more purchases than planned, gleefully snatching things of shelves as I found them, and was very impressed with the excellent and expanded range of products now stocked.

I went to get my Spicy Cajun. As the lady was piling it up (to my cries of “Oh no, more even! More! Nom nom nom!”) we chatted and I mentioned how great the range was. She said that they had tried hard to get the range expanded, so I, with my vegan-shopper hat on, was particularly flowery and complimentary about all the things I had found.

When my bill was totted up, the salad which I had so encouragingly had made piled higher, came to $18.84. Whereas previously the salads were sold per container, they were now priced by weight and I a) had failed to check; and b) decided to just suck it up and learn for next time.

Habib Wholefoods: Shop2, 260 Flinders Street, Melbourne, 3000. Ph. 9639 5515.


Anonymous said...

That's pretty exciting!
I've heard so much of this Cheezly business but never actually spotted any...
I'll be heading down there to pick up your leftovers!

a vegan about town said...

I don't really like Cheezly! This makes me sad because I'd heard so much about it and when I saw it in PAWS I was so excited! The next one I want to try is Teese, which I've also heard a lot about.

And again: you're pretty adorable with your cajun salad error. $18 for a salad! :o)

Lisa Dempster said...

Omigod woman, you are a magnet for overpriced salad! $18 for a salad, I think I would have pretended that I left my wallet at the office and bolted. And then purchased a LOTF burger down the street and tried to justify it as a cheap lunch.

I haven't perused the supermarket selections at Habib since the change in ownership, but I was happy to notice that their salads and cakes now come with signs pointing out what is vegan (and gluten free) - big props to the new people for being aware of their vegan clientele! Yippee!

Miss T said...

A magnet for overpriced salad! I love it! (And I suspect it's freakily true ..). But yeah, the lists of food for different types are great, and show excellent awareness of their clientele.

Cheezly isn't my absolute favourite thing ever; I still think that cheese is the one thing for which there is no good vegan alternative. But it does grate ok over pasta and pizza, and it's a lot better than some others I've tried, so I'm glad to find it close by.

I wish I could try Teese too though ... Let me know if you find some!

Miss T