The name doesn't give much away, but the Singing Cricket is a non-profit community initiative that began over 15 years ago. As a food co-op, it is a grocery store owned and operated by its members that strives to provide the community with affordable, organic, and wholesome food from local producers.
A food co-op may sound a little "old school" and in a way it is. The co-operative movement originated back in the nineteenth century, but it is also a thoroughly refreshing alternative to shopping in the corporate supermarket chains that monopolise the market.
The co-operative movement gained momentum in the 1970s when a wave of new co-ops emerged as community-minded, collectively owned schemes that reinvest any profits into the business.
There has again been a resurgence in recent times as consumers endeavour to make ethical food choices for health and environmental reasons. There are several food co-ops operating in Adelaide and the Singing Cricket at 6 High Street in Willunga is one of them.
It is surprising that it was never suggested when the question was posed earlier this year, Where is the Best Place for Organic Shopping in Adelaide? The Singing Cricket is well worth a visit as the store is packed with a variety of high quality produce and products that are reasonably priced and it is run by passionate and friendly volunteers.
The store is not large, but it feels spacious, clean, and welcoming. A lot of the products are purchased in bulk so that the savings can be passed on to customers. There are fresh, chemical-free fruit and vegetables supplied by local growers and all manner of grocery items and everyday essentials (even toilet paper) available to buy.
For example, there are free range eggs, local honey, nuts and dried fruit, containers full of legumes and grains, lots of sweets and treats (including Pana chocolate, yum), environmentally friendly cleaning products, and beautiful skin and health care from brands such as Weleda.
To sweeten the deal, the Singing Cricket invites shoppers to sign up as a member to receive 10% discount on purchases. The annual membership fee costs just $25 and if you have some time to spare or skills to share, you can volunteer your services in exchange for additional discount.
The Singing Cricket is ideal for weekend workers who are unable to attend the Willunga Farmers' Market on Saturday morning as it is open Tuesday to Friday from 9 am until 5 pm and on Saturday from 9 am until 12.30 pm.
There doesn't seem to be a website or Facebook page (old school indeed) to direct you to, so you will just have to make a trip to Willunga, check it out for yourself, and be sure to let us know what you think.
In a commercial business, the people have shares in the company are those who buy goods through that group. In Adelaide an example of that was S.C.Eyles & co. and another was Foodstuffs. Those two co-operatives merged and became Associated Cooperative Wholesalers, located at Findon Road, Kidman Park. The business had a number of name changes over the years and became a public company.