It took us a while to find “our spots” in Barcelona. As with many things in life, it involved quite a bit of trial and error. And while I get the romanticism that goes with exploring a new city in search of “your” grocery store, sometimes, you just don’t have the time for it, and wish someone would graciously pass you a recommended list/guide.
At HolaTomorrow, we are constantly evoking the power of the individual to bring about change. Maybe it’s the activist spirit in me, but I am ferocious believer of this. Especially when it comes to my power as consumer. For me, purchasing is more than a transaction. It’s a daily opportunity to cast a vote. So, I carefully chose where and what I shop.
Over the years, I have polished my “shopping skills” making them somewhat more “rich and interesting” so now, when I am buying “stuff” not only I consider what I need, what I want, and the quality of the product, but also that it is “good” in the world. And by good, I mean that it’s ethically and environmentally responsible.
What I offer in today’s post, it’s an always-evolving-guide of our go-to places to get our groceries and house-cleaning products in Barcelona. In selecting these places, we took into consideration that the products they sell are local, organic, ethical & sustainable, and that the businesses themselves are small businesses and women/minority owned.
We have tried numerous places from local delis to bigger well-established supermarkets like Veritas or Ametller (supermarket chains from Cataluña, Spain). For a while, we were Ametller shoppers. We liked the quality, what we believed it was a KM0 philosophy, and the feel of it. However, we later learned that the chain is not as sustainable or local friendly as they preach. So we stopped going.
Veritas was also high in our list. Over the years, they’ve made an effort to improve their environmental footprint launching different campaigns from sustainable packaging and personnel uniforms to telling the story behind some of their products. However, I personally found the produce to be expensive for the quality. Eventually, we also realized that we enjoy the smaller more direct contact with the storeowner, so we gradually stopped shopping in Veritas.
For produce, we found a really great cooperative in Gracia (a neighborhood in Barcelona): Mes Fresques Que Un Enciam. Highly recommended. We shopped there for a while and participated in their weekly baskets. Then COVID19 hit and made the logistics of going to Gracia every week impossible, so we had to find other alternatives near our home.
Every Friday, there is a small farmers market in our neighborhood which sounds great on paper. However, we don’t always manage to be around in time for it, so Casellas, in Esplugues, has become our primary go-to place. A family owned business since 1939, the store has now become part of a larger cooperative called Molsa. Their produce is 100% organic and I would say 80% local. Maybe it’s not as seasonal as our previous cooperative in Gracia, but good enough for us given the circumstances.
We used to get the rice/cereals/legumes in bulk in Al Gra. Del sac al plat in Gracia, but then again, COVID19 made us limit our options/trips to the store, so we’ve been getting pretty much all our food in Casellas. They don’t do in bulk as much as we would like to, but we are encouraging them to expand and offer a larger selection. Fingers crossed.
Our coffee is from SlowMov. No question. It’s one of the few coffee shops that remains coherent and their packaging is biodegradable.
House Cleaning Products:
Plain and simple. We get all our cleaning home products (and when I say ALL I really mean it) at El Safareig. Besides being absolute great in terms of their ethos and their in bulk offer, they also check the small business and local categories. They have recently launched their own cosmetic brand and recycle program but that’s a topic for another post.
For any plastic free household item, El Cambio Lógico is our place to go. There you can find straws, organic candles, plates, cutlery…you name it.