The glass re-filled

Sisters Nicola Cross and Emma Brown had a rather eco-conscious upbringing in Wanaka. They travelled the world and settled close by, in Australia.

“We had the Source bulk foods and the markets we went to every Saturday morning,” says Nicola.

They flourished living waste-free there, but having kids brought them both back home to Hawea. Realisation soon smacked them in the face: there was very little access to bulk foods here.

“I was making trips to Alex[andra] to Bin Inn... to access that food, I was probably hindering the environment more!”

For a year and a half, Nicola drove for 1 hour and 44 minutes to shop at the nearest bulk foods store.

“I was like: ‘There’s GOT to be a better way’!”

It dawned on the sisters that they needed to be the solution. They took the leap and started Honest Wholefoods Co – the first bulk business of its kind for the Southern Lakes.

“We had major setbacks.”

A retail space in Wanaka was going to be a costly investment with high overheads. Disheartened with progression, inspiration struck Nicola after a hellish trip to the Alexandra Bin Inn: “I’ve got two boys, 2 and a 4-year-old and holy shit! A bulk bin store with them! Is a NIGHTMARE.

Maybe we don’t need a retail space. Let’s do things differently to what’s been done.”

Honest Wholefoods Co has been functioning as online bulk store. They stock a great range of products from dry goods, liquids, cleaning ingredients and have even became a re-filler for Eco Store products. Orders are packed in paper bags, re-used jars and cardboard.

Nicola admits she’s been tough on suppliers, querying them on their packaging methods.

Their service includes home deliveries to the Wanaka / Hawea community and postal packages.

“We get quite a few North Island orders, like Auckland, and I think it because of our affordability of our products. ‘Let’s keep our overheads low so we can keep our costs low’.

“We’re not gonna be millionaires off this but we are going to help in a way.”


© 2019