Justine de Jonge is a Melbourne freelance travel writer and blogger who loves travelling the vegan road. She also loves blogging about her vegan travels at www.fireandtea.com .
Published January 19th 2013
A living food portal for super-foods and snacks
If you walked briskly along Brunswick Street, you might just miss out on this new hole in the wall. Wildcrafted has moved from its country origins of Daylesford and opened in Brunswick East, bringing its "living food portal" for super-foods and snacks to more urbanised surroundings.
If you take the time to wander past a little slower, you may be rewarded in raw cacao sample treats by a Wildcrafted employee out the front. Between these sweet and healthy samples and Wildcrafted's enthusiastic employee, it's hard not to wander into this earthly cavern.
Once you do wander in, you're transported to a refuge away from the busy traffic outside. A dense succulent sits content by the window in a massive pot, its branches secluding a window display showcasing organic groceries while bird cages hang from above. Rustic tables and cable reels present agave, pulses, chickpea chips, condiments, grains and nuts; some in Wildcrafted's own trademark range. Scarves and blankets hang from upright ladders and baskets. A subtle stream of incense smoke wafts through the space.
Wildcrafted is in a prime location for locals from Brunswick East and surrounding suburbs to purchase vegan friendly, gluten free and low GI super-groceries and treats. At the back of the store, a kitchen, counter and generous couch feed guests flavoursome breakfasts, lunches and beverages. A cabinet holds an abundance of raw cacao balls, brownies, date and goji berry bites. Today's lunchtime slot features a casual bowl of Moroccan couscous, flavoured by mint, preserved lemon, carrots and cherry tomatoes. It's topped by herbed walnut dip and surrounded by corn chips for dipping.
A large range of teas and coffees are available, yet Wildcrafted's signature Velvet Splash is an opportunity to divert from a latte and indulge in something a little more invigorating. Velvet Splash is a creamy and thick blend of cacao, rice milk, agave syrup plus a few extra secret ingredients. It can be served either hot or cold, but the cold option proves delicious. One Velvet Splash arrives in a glass jar, over ice and with a straw. It's tempting to drink the Splash uncontrollably; a decadent beverage that's chocolaty and moreish. Our casual lunch is enjoyed while sitting back in the couch by an Ottoman-themed coffee table.
It's still early days for Wildcrafted. But if they decide to add more choices to its menu and extra seating space, Wildcrafted will morph into a super-food sanctuary for its breakfasting and lunching neighbours. Though, they've garnered a fair share of attention already.