Saaraketha is a big player in the local organic food scene. They've been around since 2008, but their cute little retail store in Ward Place was born only recently. The shop is in a lovely quiet location, and their certified-organic produce is so good that it's almost all gone by the afternoon.
The shop is really very pleasant - windows all around, wicker baskets, and the veggies in nice neat board boxes, which is a nice change from the sight of produce all indelicately stuffed together in typical grocery stores. Everything looks appealing because of the cheerful set-up, and we were told that the stuff here is 'thrice-washed' which means they're ready to be eaten straight from the box.
My favourite part was the adorable cartoons here and there, featuring quirky comments, cartoon farmers, and even answering important questions for people who are new to organic food. I can honestly say this is the first grocery shop where I wanted to just sit down and chill out with the veggies, like a weirdo.
The shop is located on the premises of Streat360 , on a green lawn. So if you're here in the morning to pick up some fresh organic stuff, there are some lovely benches outside where you can chill and maybe enjoy a cup of tea from the restaurant next-door.
Organic food is new to Colombo. Most of us are busy gorging on chemical injected junk food or at the very least, bundi-inducing rice and curry. But healthy food is slowly making its way into the local scene - besides Saaraketha (whose stuff you can also find at the Good Market ), Sahan Agro does organic produce too.
If you're new to this, organic food is basically cleaner - grown on exclusive farms, free from the chemicals, pesticides and preservatives that is in most of our food (which gives us health issues and turns us into obese Sri Lankan uncles and aunties).
So you get mainly fruits, veggies, eggs and rices here, and they're also working on bringing in spices soon. We were told the prices are generally about 15-30% pricier than typical non-organic produce, but sometimes is the same price or even cheaper. The stuff here is grown on Saaraketha farms in Kirindiwela, Puttalam and Nuwara Eliya to name a few.
We were excited about the little Wonderbar pudding/cake fridge here - it promises totally vegan, no-sugar desserts based on healthy ingredients like cashews and almonds. It was, of course, all gone by noon time, so we couldn't try - so if you want some, go early morning. We were told the Wonderbar lady makes this magical thing called 'cashewnnaise', which is like mayonnaise but with cashews instead (I don't get it, but I want it).
Saaraketha is a great stop for quality organic produce, and has been a tried and tested choice for Colombo's health-conscious crowd. It's got a pleasant vibe that has managed to make veggies seem like a good idea, so if you're into organic, they're reliable. If you're too lazy to go there, they also deliver (Rs. 300 for delivery within Colombo).
66/3, Ward Place, Colombo 07
Turn into Ward Place from the ODEL roundabout and keep going, past Cargills, past the Samsung store, past Wijerama Mawatha, till you see 'Streat360' on your right. Walk right in to the end - the shop is on the left side of the Streat360 premises.