ethic. What if every town had a shop like this?

"It's a fantastic new shop. Full of organic dry goods, body care and cleaning products. There is even a cafe where you can sit and have a coffee, with a kids play area. The best bit is that you take your old empty containers and fill them up!"

This is what my friend told me when I ran into her while out getting milk the other day. Just a short drive away in the next town, I had to go! And so, an impromptu excursion took place, nicely timed with the tweens coming to the end of their school holidays.

What would we find? What would we take home? Was it really as good as she said it was? And the most important question of all...would we manage find it, loosely following her directions from memory? 

It was fine, we found it!

Set away from the main shopping streets, it had a large sign that we couldn't possibly miss. It also had several cars parked out the front which was also an encouraging sign..

Inside, we were not disappointed. Reluctantly moving through the tempting handmade items near the entrance, we made our way through to the back of the store to see what lay there..

Immediately greeted by the friendly owner, we were given a brief introduction to the shop, how the prices are kept low to cater for families and how to go about shopping there.

Organic body care - shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, handcreams and moisturisers. 

 The idea is that you take your empty containers, weigh them and record the empty weight on a sticker that is provided. You then select your product, fill the container up, write the code and take it to the front to be weighed and paid for. The original weight of the container is of course deducted from the total weight. Prices are insanely reasonable because of bulk purchasing and selling the products 'nude'.

Organic muesli and other assorted breakfast cereals. Even puffed rice, much to the tweens' surprise and delight!

An extensive herb and spice selection, along with yummy choc coated treats..
Below, we (I) could not go past the organic choc coated blueberries. Delicious! Next time we will try the cherry version..

The tweens received a good lesson in weighing/measuring and did a fine job of sticker labelling..
Handmade bamboo baby gifts, hand knits and eco nappies are available too, with the emphasis on supporting local handcrafters..

Comfy chairs beckon to be sat in with a friend or two over a coffee. As my friend said.."It's very 'veggiegroup'!). 

Feeling slightly overwhelmed by the choices available and with three tweens antsy for a milkshake, we managed to make our inaugural token purchase with the promise that we would be back very soon...

Organic - rolled barley, rye flour, jojoba & rosemary shampoo and conditioner
and of course those choc-coated blueberries! 

(I have no affiliation whatsoever with this store, I just happen to be completely and utterly smitten with it!).

-bulk organic wholefoods
-bulk biodegradable cleaning products
-fair trade coffee and tea
-kids play area

63 Urquhart St, Woodend, Vic, 3442.  (Ph) 0458 370 709

Is there a store like this near you?


  1. What a great shop. Do you read Bea's blog on Zero Waste living (called The Zero Waste Home), she does this kind of shopping with her own jars all the time, very inspiring read. There's a link in my blogroll.

  2. Lucky person to have a shop like that near you! Our local one is small, has limited products and the owner isn't very friendly :(.

  3. Be still my heart! That would be FABULOUS!!!

  4. No but I wish there were. What a fabulous idea - and aren't you lucky that you live near it. Do some shopping for me while you're there lol!

  5. Oh my sweet goodness! I would love to go to that shop. Fun. I discovered your blog this morning and it's simply lovely. I can't wait to explore every post. I am from USA and just wanted to let you know that your blog is inspiring! Blessings sent your way.

    1. Thanks, Sheridan, I haven't read her blog but just had a look - amazing! Thanks for sharing :)

      What a shame, Robyn, friendly service seems to make all the difference..

      Yes, Hopewell and IS fabulous! I can't wait to go back and do some more shopping ;)

      Thanks, Beth, nice to 'meet' you! :)

  6. Holy moly! This store looks incredible and absolutely worth a plane ticket to Australia! Enjoy your lovely (and ethical) purchases...

  7. I work at a store kinda like this but, we only have bulk flours, grains, coffee, herbs, and tea and no cafe or play area sadly, but it's still completely awesome :)

  8. Omg..i am so in awe of that shop..i would love this kind of shop..much better than a supermarket thats for sure..

  9. There are a few places around here that have aspects of this kind of shop, but not the whole thing.
    Love it though, and yes I could travel to Victoria to hang out on one of those armchairs!

  10. Fantastic store! I must check it out. Thank you for the post....(and the rest of your blog, as well!!)

    1. Thanks, Emily, I am (and will!). ;)

      It does sound great, Megan..I'll bet you even get a discount, too!

      Absolutely one thousand times better than a supermarket, sara!! They are worlds apart.

      Brydie, if you're ever down this way I promise to take you here where we can hang out over chai and do a little shopping ;) xx

      Aww, thanks, Daffodil. Are you close by? It's well worth a visit.

  11. Ooh, I'd love to hang out there & browse the wares!

  12. We have a similar local one -- Manic Organic at Woonona. I keep a small shopping bag of empty jars and egg cartons in the boot for when I decide as I drive home "I need some honey" (or similar). It's great isn't it.

  13. Its like the co-op in Katoomba I used to go to, nothing like that near where we live now that I know of.

  14. Would love to have a store like that near here!

    1. It was much fun, dixiebelle. Likewise, what I said to Brydie ;)

      Excellent tip, Rose. I've been scoping around the house gathering suitable containers and forming lists of things to stock up on. Thanks!

      Yep, it really is, Joyful.

      It's a pity there aren't more around, Mel...

      I realise we're pretty lucky to have it so close, Deanne :)

  15. AWESOME!!!!!!!! No, we do not have this near us but I sure wish we did!

  16. Bless you for sharing this Christine... I used to use something similar many years ago back in NZ unfortunately it wasn't all organic but buying in bulk is great.. now to have this store a few hours away, it would make a great day out with some goodies at the end.

  17. The world is a changing , Christine...isn't that great!?Shops are becoming what we want them to be! Pity that shop is such a long drive from here.
    We are lucky though, we have a similar shop called 'Organic feast' where you can also order online and get it delivered.
    I can almost feel the atmosphere of Ethic though... I hope that people really support it and it does well. It sounds great and makes me want to move to Victoria!

  18. There used to be. It's still there
    but has changed hands a couple of
    times. Most of the bulk goods are
    gone and it's evolved into a trendy,
    oh so superficially politically
    correct homewares shop geared towards
    the gen Ys who are moving into the
    area. Can you tell I miss the old shop?!

  19. No, we don't have a shop like ethic here. I wish oh, wish we did. It would be so wonderful. You are so lucky, I think I'll move to Victoria. Lol! I am searching out online options that aren't too expensive freight wise.

    Cheers, Deb

    1. It's so amazing, Sherri - you'd LOVE it!

      It sure would, Wendy. Online shopping just isn't the same..

      Wonderful to have an actual 'feel good' shop to go to, Kim. Why can't there be more of them around? I hope it lasts through the beginning phase too..fingers crossed.

      Pfft! How annoying, Barbara! Why do things have to change when they are already onto a good thing?

      Good luck, Deb. I hope you find a good online option :)

  20. Wow that sounds awesome, i really should get to know the shops in my area better so i can make more ethical choices.

  21. Yes we have a wonderful organic food store like this about a 20 minute drive from us. It is great and I love that I can buy things in bulk or just tiny amounts from the bins. Ours has a small cafe too.

  22. gasp!!!!very vegie group indeed, on my to do list next week!!!!

  23. I used to shop like this in Bairnsdale, they had the best muesli, and the food co op at Melbourne Uni was pretty ace too.

  24. We have a place like this in Sydney in Enmore. It's pretty good, but it can be pricey.

  25. We have a shop like that in Morayfield. It's called Simply Good. There is another one in Annerley in Brisbane. Ours don't have comfy chairs though. I'll have to talk to them when I go in again. :- )

  26. It's a great feeling to know that your purchase is an ethical one, Racheal. Hopefully you'll find something in your area.

    Large or small - so handy to have the option of amounts, Chez. Your shop sounds like a gem.

    Yes, you MUST, Kirsty!! You will absolutely LOVVE it! Tell me what you buy?!

    I was really surprised with how reasonable this shop's prices were, Celia. I almost had to pick my jaw up off the floor!

    Hah! Rhonda, you made me smile. Comfy chairs are a must, don't you think?! ;)

  27. What a simply stunning idea! Never heard of one here in England. Every area should have one!

    The 'farm shops' in our area have become mini over-priced, status symbol versions of chain superstores. Stopped using them when finding supposedly 'local' British produce that were labeled as being from Brazil and New Zealand (confirmed it with staff). To add insult to injury, that was during our harvest season! Their local must of meant solar system designation...

  28. I go to the same one as Rhonda Jean and yes chairs and coffe would be a bonus

  29. Ahh! What an outrage, Mrs Tiggy Winkle! I understand your frustration.

    Great to hear you have one near by, Fiona. I'm really looking forward to trying those comfy chairs out.. :)

  30. I live a 5 minute walk from this shop and it is very good, the staff are very friendly and helpful.
    Anyone coming to Woodend, should check it out.

  31. I actually supply the bulk cleaning products and shampoos and conditioners to Ethic :-) Also to Bairnsdale Wholefoods and Melb Uni Food Coop mentioned above. And to quite a few others who offer the refill option -- like The Greenstore in Fairfield, Friends of the Earth in Collingwood, and Shop Neutral in Prahran. And if anyone is missing out in their neck of the woods, tell them they can source in bulk from Geoff at Back to Basics and email
    Sorry if this comes off as a commercial plug, but might also be useful to someone. And keep shopping at Ethic -- i just did a new delivery there on Friday :-)

  32. Wow this place looks great! We have a local organic supermarket where they are selling more and more things in bulk, and only packaged good with a minimum of packaging, but they don't have this 'bring your own empty container' idea.
    I can only imagine how good chocolate covered blueberries taste!!!

  33. I have just discovered this gorgeous place and feel so lucky to have one near enough for me to visit. The staff were so friendly when I first popped in and took the time to explain how things worked. I can't wait to visit again.


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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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