Wholefood Merchants

Finally!
Finally Wholefood Merchants has opened in Ferntree Gully.  I had heard rumours of a massive health food store opening on Burwood Highway & I’m really glad it’s come to fruition. This mammoth store is a much welcomed staple in the area.

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The thing I find frustrating more than anything, is finding goods I want to purchase either a road trip away, or having to resort to online ordering and then  waiting weeks on end for my purchase to be delivered.

Wholefood Merchants has everything.

 

No, like literally.

 

Vitamins

Elixirs

Beauty products

Kitchenware

Baby goods

Biodegradable crockery and cutlery

Heat packs

Candles

Perfume

Crystals

Gluten free

Vegan

Vegetarian

Dairy free

Egg free

Fructose free

Vegetarian cafe

Fruit

Vegetables

Eggs

Dairy

Frozen goods

Bulk seeds, legumes & nuts

Cleaning products

Meats

Flowers

Books

CDs

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Have I got your attention?

Wholefood Merchants is huge. The site was an old furniture warehouse, so that may help to understand the scale of the store. The front is decorated with planter boxes and their wooden theme throughout the store is warm and welcoming. Kinda like a big old barn, full of local products and the once unattainable.

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The gentle aroma of  flowers wafts past as you enter Wholefoods (can I call it that?) as a row of decent priced floral bouquets line the entrance. As if that’s not sweet enough, there are then rows upon rows of chocolates- bars, blocks, gift boxes. You are easily catered for if you are hunting for vegan or dairy free sweets.

The shelves are brimming with products, all tidily housed in their sections; gluten free, protein powders, baby foods and so on. There is a huge range of products and lots of new brand lines.

The vegetarian cafe is to the left of the store with plenty of tables and a gorgeous display cabinet full of salads, quiche and cakes. It was abuzz with orders for coffee, smoothies and salads. This will definitely be my post gym stop to pick up lunch before work. The best thing is they’re open seven days, so it will be an ideal place for catch ups with friends over the weekends.

Wholefood Merchants have a varied beauty department too. Everything for a relaxing bath; salts, soy candles,  bath bombs and oils, to creams, perfumes, make up & nail polish.

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The meat department was quite good (*sigh* no turkey bacon) as was the range of organic fruits and vegetables.

 

The freezer section was excellent with a massive range of Coyo and So Delicious (gluten free cookie dough ice cream y’all). There’s plenty of Linda McCartney Vegetarian, Tofutti and Daiya.

 

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The dairy is great with a massive range of yoghurts and cheeses- dairy and non-dairy plus there is a great range of So Delicious, Rebel and Inside Out milks.

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I picked up:

So Delicious Latte and Mocha coconut milks

Inside Out almond milk

Rumbles Paleo cookies

Raw4ThePeople mushroom jerky

Bath bomb & bath salt

Box of water- literally looks like I’m drinking out of a milk carton, so quirky

Gluten free lasagne sheets

Savoury yeast flakes

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I also bought two gluten free vegan mini mud cakes and two gluten free vegan snickers slices to share with my work colleagues. One of the ladies I work with is gluten and dairy free and one is dairy free. They were both super excited by the cakes, which were described as ‘deevviinnnnee’; they clearly loved them.

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There will also be beauty and massage rooms opening soon.

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I was also lucky enough to be given a show-bag which had a range of sample products featuring Fusion, Bob’s Red Mill, Grown Alchemist to name a few.image

Was great to spot my favourite duo, The Health Food guys!

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I’m kinda glad it’s going to be other people making road trips to visit Wholefood Merchants.

‘Wholefood Merchants? Yeah, they’re in MY hood!’

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You can find Wholefood Merchants at

3/794 Burwood Highway, Ferntree Gully- next door to Pet Barn

 

 

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Gisborne Peak Winery

I was surprised with a Red Balloon voucher for my birthday to Gisborne Peak Winery.

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This gorgeous winery is located in the Macedon Ranges.

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Our voucher included a three course meal plus wine tasting and a bottle of Gisborne Peak’s wine.

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When we arrived be began our wine tasting, Jake one of the lovely employee’s, talked us through the different blends, told us a few stories about the winery and took the time to answer our grape-harvesting questions.

We chose a bottle of the Sparking Wine and I also bought an additional bottle; their Allegra, plus I bought a glass (or two) to enjoy with lunch.

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Starters was a platter of meats, dips and warmed Turkish bread.

For main I chose a pesto and prawn pizza and Jordan enjoyed a chicken pizza. The pizza is literally cooked right in front of you as they use a big stone pizza oven which is just outside the restaurant.

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Before we moved onto our dessert we decided to take a walk around the winery, we were stuffed.

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We did a bit of frolicking through the vines, it was just gorgeous. Small bunches were just beginning to form on the vines, the air was fresh and the sky was slightly blue.  We had visited on quite a humid day so we were comfortable in just light clothing, and we took some fun photos.

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Dessert was sweet & satisfying, I had cheesecake, I can never go past cheesecake and Jordan picked the lemon meringue. YUM!

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I finished the meal with a soy latte.

I had such a beautiful time at Gisborne Peak Winery, the food was filling and well made, the staff were friendly and welcoming and the scenery was very picturesque. It was fun to do something different, road trip for a lovely lunch and celebrate my birthday.

Owners Bob and Barb must be so proud of what they have achieved and how hard they have worked on this little gem in the Macedon Ranges.  It’s truly well worth the visit.

Bloggers United Australia- Halloween Exchange

Slowly Halloween is becoming a ‘thing’ here in Australia.  There are costumes in the stores, specialised lollies are strewn throughout the supermarkets, with their scary packaging, lined up next to pumpkin pails, ready to collect all that sugar goodness.

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It’s no Hocus Pocus yet, but we’re getting there…

As a bit of fun, and a way of getting to know other bloggers, the duo over at Bloggers United AU arranged a ‘swap’ between members across the country- packages of goodies would be mailed out, ready for us to open on Halloween.

Parcels didn’t have to just contain candy goodies, but themed with what each blogger liked, blogged about or just something exciting to open up on the 31st.

I was paired with a cherub in New South Wales, Fiona from Little Lioness and I received a box load of awesome goodies!

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I received a Thai Red Curry Kit from Blue Dragon which make delicious, quick and easy meal kits and also jarred sauces. I love Thai food so I can’t wait to use this pack.

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I’m also excited to try my Cacao, Maca and Chia breakfast blend from The Happy Sol Food Company, I just love the idea of being able to give myself a little boost, especially on the days when I’m working and then going hard at the gym.

I also received some Higher Living Tea, which is Cinnamon infused and caffeine free. I honestly love smelling the pack, it is heavenly.

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What do you think about the range of sugars and not sugars around?  There seem to be so many options, so much negativity, so much positivity.  Options everywhere.  I think sugar is sugar and there are just better options and choices. I was excited to find a pack of Indonesian Coconut Blossom Sugar in my gift.  This is an unrefined sugar that is organically grown and can be used with porridge, baking and has a caramel flavour.  Again sugar in moderation, as we all know, but I never like to moderate how often I cook with it!

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I also received some Emma and Tom’s raw fruit and nut bars- you may know this company well, they have been making their juices for a number of years now and I have seem their raw bars around and have tried a few flavours.  Fiona was kind enough to send me the Cacao and Coffee Bean bar and the Fig and Lemon bar.  These are all natural with no added sugar or preservatives  As I mentioned with The Happy Sol Food Company, I love things like this as an added extra to my food, especially on higher activity days to replenish calories and give me that extra boost.

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I was really happy to see a box of Kez’s Free and Naked (teehehe) in my delivery. Yummy, cold pressed, sticky date bars- gluten free, a good source of fibre and no added anything.  All their products are always tasty, easy to find in supermarkets and perfect if you’re gluten intolerant.

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Please visit me on Periscope to view me opening my gifts live- @SimplyNatalieLaura

A huge huge thank you to Fiona for such an amazing array of gifts and to Bloggers United AU for their awesome and fun festive ideas and for their ongoing motivation, persistence and knowledge.