It’s A Sensation: Liverpool’s Windmill Wholefoods - Organic, Ethical and Local since 1991
Windmill Wholefoods is a Workers Co-operative, a genuinely democratic and sustainable organisation run without a hierarchy by Paul, Martin, Adam and Rik. It began as Liverpool's Green Co-operative in 1991 and is a humble set-up that shares knowledge and experience with other Co-operatives, like Liverpool's News from Nowhere Bookshop and Nerve Magazine.
We're lucky to have a shop like this, there's nowhere like it for miles. Windmill sells organic, non-genetically modified produce - fresh organic fruit and veg, and a large selection of vegan, vegetarian and fairtrade products. At Windmill Wholefoods, freshly organic fruit and veg fly off the shelves, especially the kiwis and avocados! The carrots are covered in earth, which, when we breathe it in, is an aroma we all recognise as something we miss.
Windmill were based on Smithdown Road for 20 years, and last Autumn, with their lease running out and an eviction order looming, they found a new home where the Oxfam shop used to be on Aigburth Road. The shop is gaining momentum, it's busier than ever and they've taken on two other members of staff, Amy and Sinead. Situated in Aigburth Road's main shopping area on a busy bus route and close to St Michael's Merseyrail station, the new premises are generally more accessible. The shop is open from Monday to Saturday, and they're planning to open on a Sunday as well.
People travel the length and breadth of Merseyside and Wirral to source specific supplies at Windmill, for example specialised flour - the shop stocks at least 20 different types. I'm told they sell the best fully organic, free range eggs in Liverpool and bread comes in every day, mainly from a German bakery in Speke. Freshly baked overnight, it's hot when it arrives at the shop in the morning. There are specialist breads too. Ethical products such as degradable bin bags, and environmentally friendly personal and cleaning products, are also available. The shelves straight ahead as you walk in are filled with sweet treats like chilli-lime chocolate, orange and geranium chocolate, chocolate covered rice cakes, organic biscuits, wildflower honey and jams - even bilberry jam.
There's a great atmosphere, staff are friendly and welcoming, and mindful that people could be intimidated by a stand-alone shop with a focus on 'health foods'. Staff are aware that we live in the real world, surviving on budgets, shopping at supermarkets, while increasingly looking to buy what we can at places where we can find alternatives to bland corporate branding and find tastier, fresher, healthier and interesting alternatives at a reasonable price - and from organisations that we know don't shit on workers or drive down quality to cream off profit for shareholders.
As a Workers Co-operative, Windmill Wholefoods promotes good value as well as quality, for example buying organic almonds from Spain and packaging them in store - you're drawing nut milk as you chew. Windmill has also been delivering bags of fresh organic fruit and veg to loyal customers for years, presently 150 a week. Their driver's called Danny and they deliver at an affordable price, with a good discount for bulk buying.
'All who come to Liverpool must come to this amazing shop', is a customer quote from their Facebook page. For the benefits of well-being we can all shop at Windmill. People come in all the time with personal stories of changing their diet for the better, and the massive health improvements and increase in energy levels eating wholefoods can bring. A member of staff experienced his own personal awakening around eating half raw and half cooked quality organic ingredients. He says: 'Eating real organic produce grown in nutrient-rich soil is like bubbles being burst around your head… the whole question of why it tastes good starts to make sense'.
Eating junk from the corporate kleptocracy is losing its appeal - so feed the windmills of your body and mind and be refreshed by shopping at Windmill Wholefoods.
Windmill Wholefoods are at 162 Aigburth Road,
Liverpool L17 7BR
Comment left by Phil Morton on 28th June, 2012 at 18:46
Comment left by Minnie Stacey on 30th June, 2012 at 17:07
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