London garners all the attention when it comes to vegan grocery shopping, especially with Vx and the upcoming opening of Veganz, but those of us living in the suburbs aren’t without options. Big Life Organics in Haywards Heath is an entirely vegan grocery store with something for everyone.
Owners Nicola and David ventured into the vegan supermarket scene first with a macrobiotic Shop in Forest Row before opening the current store in Haywards Heath. The Forest Row shop is now closed, meaning Nicola and David are now able to devote their attention to the larger new shop, which also features its own vegan macrobiotic cooking school.
There’s no question that Big Life Organics is focused on the healthier side of food, and as such you won’t find many of the usual suspects in the fridge cabinet. Instead there’s fresh seitan, tofu, natto, tempeh, and a heap of other products. As the name suggests, Big Life Organics concentrates on organic produce, which is also sourced from local farmers when possible.
Just in case you’re conjuring images of brown rice and lentils, know this about the vegan store: there’s still cake. And chocolate. And bread. And booze. You know, the essentials. Once you’ve spent most of your food allowance on all that stuff (seriously, there’s some chocolate you won’t want to miss – and this is coming from someone who is not a die hard chocolate fan), you can move on to the impressive selection of ingredients you simply won’t find easily elsewhere, like natto (sans fish seasoning), natto starter, and nigari to make your own tofu, as well as some other great East Asian vegan products.
You’ll also find most of the other home staples from flours and grains to spices and jarred sauces. There’s also a massive selection of home cleaning and personal care products, including products like make up and hair dye.
I had the pleasure to have a brief chat with both Nicola and David, and they’re hugely passionate about what they’re doing. Their enthusiasm is catching and it’s always a pleasure to see people doing something they love, especially when that something is to bring awareness to others about a good cause. Yay veganism!
So next time you find yourself around Haywards Heath (tip: it’s on the London to Brighton Line, and most train tickets allow you to stop off at intermediate stations), be sure to pop in and say hi. Buy something, even! Make veganism publicly accessible by supporting the businesses that promote it.
Big Life Organics
112 South Road
Don’t forget to check out their vegan cooking classes and events too!