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Digital Subscriptions > Be Kind > July 2019 > Shop kind: Viva Organic

Shop kind: Viva Organic

Marrying organic, fresh produce with plastic-free packaging, doing a grocery shop has never been so wholesome

After feeling frustrated by the lack of product choice and waste generated by mainstream food shops, Rod Thomas took matters into his own hands. He quit his job in property and decided to open a one-stop zero-waste and organic shop, where Viva Organic was born. We caught up with him to find out more.

About two years ago I was looking for a change of career, I was in property before I did this and never even worked in retail. My children were born with food allergies and intolerances. This led my wife and I to try and cut anything from their diet that could be harmful, so we removed gluten and dairy and made the choice to go completely organic in our household as well. My wife was already vegan, so my children were brought up eating plant-based foods, too. My son had meningitis when he was about two weeks old and they gave him antibiotics for this. Although he’s fine now, all the medicines really harmed his gut. So, we were looking at ways to make his gut better and I did a naturopathy course to learn a little bit more about food and how it can heal. This led me to start juicing and we now have a cold press juice bar within our shop, too.

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About Be Kind

Hello, What makes a home? Is it where your family is? The town you grew up in? Or maybe it’s wherever you lay your hat? After years of moving around to different cities, taking different jobs and making different groups of friends, I’ve realised that home can take many forms throughout your life. My nan’s house watching Gladiators and Blind Date with my brother was home. The campervan that housed all my worldly possessions when travelling in Australia was (a very tiny) home. The London flat share with my best girlfriend in my 20s was home. The house I grew up in will always sound, smell and feel like home. And I hope I still have many homes left to discover. This month I’ve read so many stories of ‘home’ – from foster parents, the elderly, my colleagues and the communities striving to make the displaced feel safe and welcome. I’ve spoken to the people who attempt to make their towns a better place for all to live in, the ones who say ‘yes’ and go the extra mile to help other people. I’ve learned about places where neighbours are friends, not anonymous nuisances, and those who are happy and comfortable living alone. A home forms part of your identity and that’s a lot more than just bricks and mortar – it’s the people you love and the community you’re surrounded by that underpin it all. Enjoy the issue, Phillipa Editor