I’ve been wanting to talk about grocery stores in London for a long time, because it’s something that has actually been quite a shift since moving here. Where is the cornmeal to make cornbread? Why do all vegetables come wrapped in styrofoam and plastic? Why do all of the farmer’s markets have the same ten vendors?
When it comes down to it, nothing beats Portland grocery stores and farmer’s markets with free shopping carts, the option of paper bags, and the amazing quality of fruits and vegetables. But after much searching, we have found an adequate substitute while living here: Swiss Cottage Grocers on Finchley Road. I successfully went to the store this morning and bought al of these fruits and vegetables without any plastic wrap, or any wrapping at all, plus all of my teas, nuts, canned goods, and grains for the week. Each week we go stock up and only spend around 30 pounds. Also, there is never anyone else in the store, except the friendly woman who works there. All of the produce comes from New Covent Garden, which is where all of the produce for the city comes from.
I always get sad on Sundays when I see people walking down the street with about 20 plastic bags from Waitrose or Sainsbury’s. So if you’re looking for an alternative to the big chains and you’re tired of filling up your garbage with excess plastic wrap when you come home from the store each week, then check out Swiss Cottage Grocers! You can read more about the owner here.