Monday10:00 am – 5:30 pm.
Tuesday10:00 am – 5:30 pm.
Wednesday10:00 am – 5:30 pm.
Thursday10:00 am – 8:30 pm.
Friday10:00 am – 2:30 pm.
134 The Square, Palmerston North
Located in the heart of downtown Palmerston North, the Wholegrain Organics concept encompasses a grocery store, café, bakery, farm and vibrant community hub. As a non-profit organisation, they provide young people with opportunities for hands-on education while also providing the people of Palmerston North with delicious, affordable and nutritious food. It’s a concept where everyone wins.
The first half of the bright, spacious shop hosts organic grocery products from almost every category you can think of. The fresh vegetables are grown on Wholegrain Organics’ farm which is located just outside of the city. There students work with the team to plant, care for and harvest organic crops in a way that is low impact. In the grocery section you’ll also find Wholegrain Organics’ nut butters, mueslis, pastas and breads which are, of course, wholegrain. These are made on site by students and staff in the upstairs bakery. The wholegrain, sprouted bread is especially notable and packs a punch in terms of taste and nutrition. Other locally made, organic products feature and everything is fresh and minimally processed.
Wholegrain Organics’ student café occupies the second half of the space. Here students train and prepare plant based dishes for the public to enjoy. Fresh salads and soups are available daily and are constructed with seasonal produce from the farm and other local growers. The whole grain pizza, one café favourite, is available only on certain days, and is handmade with wholegrains, fresh passata, veggies and cashew cheese. Rest assured, whatever happens to be on offer when you visit, will be made with whole foods and a whole lot of care. No shortcuts, refined sugar, deep frying, white flour or other nasties are ever used.
Juices, smoothies, herbal teas and unique carob coffee are also available and if you’re after something sweet, check out the housemade carob chocolate. It’s uniquely tasty and comes in raspberry, peanut, hazelnut and natural flavours. Wholegrain Organics even make their own almond milk - the muesli bowls make an excellent morning meal.
This organisation does quite a lot for the community and their success has been driven by the core team who work behind the scenes to coordinate everything they do. They are all very passionate about education, good food and organic gardening. Nine schools in Palmerston North partner with Wholegrain Organics, and students work alongside the core team to get hands-on experience with food production and technology on the farm, in the café and in the bakery. Students use commercial equipment, learn about nutrition and become confident using quality, wholesome ingredients.
Words by Olivia Sisson & Photography by Anna Briggs
134 The Square, Palmerston North
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