Melbourne Food Stores and Grocers StockedThe delicious baked goods at Stocked – image by Jen Curcio

 

Melbourne is a blessed city for foodies. We are so spoilt with fresh local food in our markets, cafe’s, restaurants and stores. However, one of our contributors Amelia Harris, recently pointed out that despite this abundance, specialty food stores in Melbourne rarely receive an adequate round up. So with Amelia’s suggestion we have put together some of the Melbourne food stores we love and that we shop at personally.

Please note that this is a piece based on our personal favourites around Melbourne. Are there any spots we have missed or ones that you would like to see featured? Feel free to let us know at: info@decisivecravings.com.au or in the comments section below.

JC x

 

 

JEN’S PICKS

Gewurzhaus tea blendsSome of the teas available at Gewürzhaus – image by Jen Curcio

 

Gewürzhaus – Various stores across Melbourne and one in Sydney.

In essence, Gewürzhaus is exactly what it translates to from German, ‘spice house’. The stores I have been to (Hawksburn and CBD) are lined with self-scoop type compartments with herbs and spices from A-Z. This is no exaggeration, there is a spice or herb blend for almost every type of cuisine and then some. In addition to their self-scoop ingredients, they can also be bought pre-packaged in lovely glass jars ready to take home.

Their range is impressive, including my personal favourite, their EXTENSIVE selection of salts. I have mentioned it many times, referenced it in many recipes and I cannot run my kitchen without their Smoked Yakima Applewood Salt – it gives every dish that special touch and unique flavour, including chocolate chip cookies! Just add a little sprinkle before they go into the oven.

In addition to herbs and spices, they stock wonderful tea blends and hot chocolate mixtures. If you are shopping for the foodie in your life, Gewürzhaus  also stock some lovely foodie gifts.

 

 

Melbourne Food Stores and Grocers Stocked cakesFreshly baked treats at Stocked – image by Jen Curcio

 

Stocked – 549 Malvern Road, Hawksburn Village, Toorak and 130 Glenferrie Road, Malvern

Before you even reach the entrance of Stocked Hawksburn, you are already salivating at the tantalizing dishes in the façade’s display. There are always salads and treats brimming with flavour, abundance and colour and then you walk in…

Be prepared to have your senses drowned in food want. Stocked always have a very curated selection of pantry items, breads (get there early), biscuits, preserves and general foodie delights. Then there is the deli display with a ‘deli’cious selection of imported and local cheeses, cured meats and fish, and moorish delights.

Raise your eyes to the counter level and you’ll see the seasonal offering baked on site for meals, snacks and desserts at home: tartines, bakes, pastas, quiches, tarts, mini pizzas, sausage rolls, pies, as well as slices and iced cakes.

Everything at Stocked is literally ready to take home, take away, eat on the spot or on the go. It is also worth noting that Stocked use only free-range chicken and eggs, and their own stocks, soups and sauces.

I should end in mentioning that some of you may consider Stocked expensive, but in my opinion you get what you pay for particularly with the house made goods – all high in quality and taste. It is certainly not my daily go-to in terms of staples, but my go-to for special lunches, BBQs, gourmet gifts and treats.

 

The Staple Store – 19 Glen Eira Rd, Ripponlea

I have been a long standing supporter of The Staple Store since it’s opening. Run by naturopath Catie Gett, all the products that set foot in store have gone through rigorous curation to ensure the end customer is buying a quality, ethical and locally produced item.

As its name intends, this is a store full of staples. Find nuts, dried fruits, oats, their famous make-your-own muesli bar, local honey, natural peanut butter, tahini, teas, chocolates as well as ethical and environmentally friendly personal care and cleaning products.

The Staple Store also have a refrigerated section in which you will find jars of fermented veggies, COYO yoghurt, Deek’s gluten free loaves, as well as Catie’s famous raweos and Citizen Cacao’s chocolates.

This is a go-to for me whenever I am back home in Melbourne.

 

Little Hen – 270-272 Carlisle Street, Balaclava

Formerly named under the Aunt Maggie’s group of stores for a time there, Little Hen is a fantastic organic food store for those buying ethical, or allergy friendly food and ingredients. They have a fresh produce section and a juice bar, an extensive range of yoghurts, dips and fermented goods, as well as cereals, grains and nuts, teas, breads, chocolates, personal and beauty care products, and that’s just scraping the surface. I go in with a specific list of things I need to buy and always leave with more than I intended to. This is another spot I always visit when I am back in Melbourne, as it’s one of the only places close to my parents home that I can find Peace, Love and Vegetables’ Curry Carrot Kraut (a staple I buy whenever I’m back).

 

Melbourne Food Stores and Grocers The Common Good StoreSome of the goodies available at The Common Good Store – image by Jen Curcio

 

The Common Good Store – 77 Church St, Hawthorn

Dubbed the ‘ethical grocer’, The Common Good Store is a great conscious choice for shopping. The store itself looks small’ish from the façade, but it is long and narrow and filled with goods. You’ll find everything from fresh organic produce, local honeys and spreads, teas, grains and bread to organic sea salt hair spray, as well as personal care and cleaning products. Everything they stock appears curated for both ethics and quality and you’ll leave feeling you’ve done yourself a favour.

 

Leaf Store – 111 Ormond Rd, Elwood and 112 Were Street, Brighton

Another of my Southside favourites is Leaf Store, which is in the same vein as the aforementioned Little Hen or Common Good Store. Apart from fresh fruit and vegetables, including an organic selection, Leaf Store have a great range of gourmet goods and pantry staples including cereals, dairy and eggs, bread (we buy their Irrewarra Sourdough), pastas, grains, nuts and lots of delicious chocolates and sweet treats, like one of my favourite biscuits, Michel’s Fine Biscuit Co.

 

Mediterranean Wholesalers – 482 Sydney Road, Brunswick

I have been visiting Mediterranean Wholesalers since around the time Franco Cozzo ads still aired on television. Living Southside in Melbourne there is very little choice when it comes to stores dedicated to imported Italian products and the possibility of buying them in bulk – i.e – panettone at Christmas for gifts. Both then and now, Mediterranean Wholesalers like Gervasi Food Works (a little further up the road), remains a family adventure of sorts. Our trip there will almost always be planned for a Sunday with an arrival time around 8:30am to avoid the traffic and will include several lists for family members needing bocconcini and prosciutto, and maybe a pizza focaccia if available. The space is enormous and is fitted out with a deli, aisles of imported Italian passata, pasta, biscuits, olive oils, alcohol, liqueur, biscuits, gifts, coffee makers, beauty and personal care products, not to mention a bakery/café’ where you can snack on traditional Italian sweets like canoli with a hot, strong espresso. The focaccia loaf here is fantastic, my family often buy several loaves at a time and freeze it.

Going to ‘Mediterraneo’ as we call it is a family tradition I look forward to and cherish, and if you haven’t discovered it, I am sure you will love it too.

 

Gervasi Food Works – 870-872 Sydney Road, Brunswick

Mediterranean Wholesalers for me is synonymous with ‘Gervasi’ – you cannot make the trek across town to visit one without going to the other. The main difference between the two Italian food stores is that Gervasi is significantly smaller and fronts as a regular supermarket, but step inside and the range of imported Italian goods will surprise you. Think an aisle dedicated to imported cheeses, funnily enough we always buy a semi-hard Dutch cheese here along with the standard Italian favourites like Parmesan and the Sardinian style Pecorino. We also come here for the bocconcini and buffalo mozzarella, as well as freshly packed ricotta (often still warm). Apart from the collection of a few preserves, Italian biscuits or Panettoni if it’s Christmas; the selection at the deli here is also fantastic. Go for Prosciutto (San Daniele) and any of their salami’s hanging above the counter. It is worth noting that they also offer freshly baked bread here, although it is a very small offering, I highly recommend you try their ciabatte/panini rolls – the perfect pouch for your fresh Prosciutto and cheese!

 

 

NAOMI’S PICKS

Melbourne Food Stores and Grocers Oasis Bakery NO copyDelights at Oasis Bakery – image by Naomi Owen

 

HK Supermarket – 359-365 Clayton Road, Clayton

Next time you have a hankering for ‘Ants Climbing Up a Tree’ (or whatever your favourite Chinese dish may be), one pre-emptive trip to Hong Kong Supermarket will ensure all core ingredients will be conveniently stocked in the pantry. In fact, HK Supermarket is home to all the staples of Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, Singaporean and Indian cuisines. Come here for all the choice you could possibly want in sauces and pastes, as well as the freezers full of dumplings and other delicacies. This clean and easy to navigate supermarket, also boasts a fresh vegetable section.

 

Oasis Bakery – 9/993 North Road, Murrumbeena

The Oasis Bakery is an overflowing mecca of culinary delight. It’s the kind of place you go in for a few items, nonchalantly picking up a basket on your way in and then have to stop half way through your shop to go and find a trolley to fit in your farro, almond meal, pistachios and that gorgeous new tajine you spied.

Stock up on kilos of couscous, maftoul, mougrabieh, bulgar, freekah, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth and rice. Delve into the bins full of pulses. Gaze at refrigerators full of dips, stuffed cabbage leaves, yoghurts and pre-made salads such as mujaddara and tabbouleh. Reach into deep freezers packed with mini cheese and spinach pastries, pizza bases, halloumi cheese pies and arancini balls.

There’s a café on site, serving breakfast (think shakshuka or breakfast tacos) served between 8am-12pm weekdays and 8am-3pm weekends, and lunch. Perhaps a shawarma (try the lamb), wrap or salad. Or maybe you just need a coffee and a piece of baklava to help reenergise you.

Oasis Bakery also offers cooking classes, catering options and is now able to host small functions. Parking is available onsite for customers.

 

 

AMELIA’S PICKS

Melbourne Food Stores and Grocers Toscanos (1) AH copyThe seasonal flower selection at Toscano’s – image by Amelia Harris

 

Toscano’s – Stores in Kew, Hawksburn and Richmond

Toscano’s is an icon of High St, Kew. This third generation family-run store opened in 1950 and has established itself as one of Melbourne’s most reliable grocers. It has gone on to open stores in Hawksburn Village and at Victoria Gardens. All sell a wide range of seasonal produce and detail the fruit and vegetable’s town or suburb of origin. A list of what is seasonal that week is shown on the check out screen and Joanne Toscano also does a weekly wrap up on 774 ABC Melbourne every Saturday morning. Follow the Toscano’s Instagram and check out the Kew store’s chalk board for a quirky take on what’s in season. The stores also offer an impressive range of pantry staples from Creme pastry, Jock’s ice cream, scores of provisions (olive oils, vinegars, tinned tomatoes, honey and chocolate) to harder to find items like edible flowers. I also like the impressive selection of flowers out the front of the store. They last for days.

 

Simon Johnson – Stores in Toorak, Fitzroy and at Chadstone Shopping Centre

He might be from Sydney but Simon Johnson’s providores offer Melbournians something special. The three stores in Toorak, Fitzroy and Chadstone have a beautiful selection of olive oil, chocolate, biscuits, teas, savoury provisions and other speciality goods. Tea fiends will love the selection of Mariage Freres teas, while chocoholics will be impressed with scores of Valrhona and Venchi. Simon Johnson also has the Australian rights to Dutchy Organics, Prince Charles’s food line. The chocolate coated biscuits, either with ginger, orange, coconut or, at Christmas, butterscotch, are sinful. The cheese room has an impressive selection of local and international cheese, which has a high turnover and is cut to order. There’s no pre-cut plastic wrapped cheese here. Staff are helpful and knowledgable, happy to let you try cheeses and suggest what is particularly good right now. Come Christmas, the centre table groans under the weight of special chocolate, luxurious hampers, panettone, Christmas cakes and more.

 

La Manna Direct – 10 English St, Essendon Fields

La Manna Direct faces stiff competition; supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths are literally metres away from its Essendon Fields shop. The family-run grocery store offers a good selection of fruit, vegetables, meat and specialty products along with more traditional supermarket items like soap and shampoo.  It’s also very on trend, embracing the recent rise of Nutella with hot cross buns, doughnuts and cakes among the products featuring the chocolate hazelnut spread. The in-store patisserie makes a huge range of cakes and tarts and its Instagram is worth a follow. I’ve only visited La Manna Direct on the weekend when it was manic so I suspect going during the week would be a better option.

 

You might also like: 

Raw and Vegan Guide Melbourne – Part One

Foodie Stuff: Picnicking in Melbourne

Grocery Shopping for Good

 

Disclaimer: Please note that management or details may have varied since time of review. Our thoughts and opinions are based on our experience only.