What is better for us than to live healthy and natural, as close to Mother Nature as we can be? We are so tied up in our day to day life on things that harm us - driving cars that pollute the air we breathe, drinking juices filled with aditives instead of drinking fresh water, eating sweets on a daily basis as snacks... We hurt ourselfs continuously; sometimes without even knowing or caring. I love the idea that the TARG Śniadaniowy brings - the way it encourages people to go back to their roots and eat more healthy products.
I have lived in Krakow, in Poland, for almost 4 full years now and I did not manage to find a good eco-store where they would sell all sorts of natural products and ingredients, until almost a month ago! Of course there are the ocasional fairs where you can buy products from the local manufacturers and also certain small shops where you can buy vegetables and fruits produced localy. But if I wanted something bigger or more specific, like different types of herbs and spices that usually you would not find at the store... well that was an issue for me! I never knew where to go and from where to buy it except from the huge supermarkets - which, not all the time, had everything I needed.
|The Entrance to Naturalny Sklepik|
I was lucky to bump into Naturalny Sklepik - located on Krupnicza 8, Krakow, very close to Teatr Bagatela. If you pass by the street you may miss it but I urge you - from the bottom of my heart - to go inside even for a moment. You need first to pass through the building and get to the inner courtyard - where in the spring/summertime/autumn you can buy juices or even a piece of homemade cake and stay outside on the bench and listen to the fine French music playing :)
The Naturalny Sklepik was opened almost 15 years ago - in the summer of 2001. The couple that started the business and hold it under a firm hand are fans of food and they see food as art. They have started the business with spices - at the time when good food was hard to come by, due to the lack of ingredients, they needed something more than what the market had to offer. They loved good food and good food could not be prepared only with salt and pepper... This is how they started bringing the spices from their indian friends from Germany. The spices that you can find now on the rack are mostly indian but there are also european mixes of herbs + local products as well.
The clients always asked for more and since the store opened its gates in 2001, more and more products entered the Polish market through Naturalny Sklepik. To be stated out that the shop never left its original location and it stands on the very same spot it opened up back then. There was a 2nd small shop opened - for cosmetics - approximately 1 year ago on Starowiślna but it closed out - there are many cosmetical eco products out there that can be bought online and people were not used to the concept.
As I was sitting in the inner courtyard, drinking a fine aromatic tea with Piotr - one of the owners of the Naturalny Sklepik - I could see that there was a constant bustle of clients coming in and always buying something (never just looking!). Each time they would come and go they would greet Piotr and smile. The clients know Piotr, they know the owners, they became friends... just think about it, if you would shop in the same place for 15 years, would you not befriend the one you talk to on a daily basis? I know, in a supermarket it is hard to do such thing, but Naturalny Sklepik seemed such a cozy place to me - very inviting!
The clients that the shop has is quite a mix - you have typical Krakowians, students coming from around the country/world and also you have quite a large number of expats. Naturalny Sklepik has quite a lot of indian clients. Did you know that the owner of the biggest factory in Nowa Huta is from India as well? and guess what? they are clients to the Naturalny Sklepik.
But why India, you may ask? Why bring indian products on a traditional Polish market? Well, my dearests, India has one of the richest kitchen ingredients. So if you want something original and tasty and spicy, you need to try out their mixes. That was what the owners did and they fell in love with the taste. Piotr gets enthusiastic when he explains Indian culture and their specific food, like Chapati Ata - made out of wheat flour, resembling a bit with the bread. You can eat that with rice, vegetables and there is always a touch of curry :) The indian products come from Germany - as they did from day one.
When you think and talk about eco products, about eating organic, about being close to nature, people may smile... They may think this is a trend and this is what hipsters would do, this is what hipsters would eat... Well there is a trend dating 2-3 years back, that is true, but if we look even more into the past we will see that the mindset has changed earlier than that. People go abroad now more often. "Europe is a big village" as Piotr also quotes. "People want to eat good and interesting food".
People become also more and more aware when they have kids, and they realise that they cannot feed their offsprings with the products that are now on the market. They want their kids to grow healthy and have strenght, and that is a goal still hard to reach in a city like Krakow - where the pollution is the highest in Poland.
I could say that in Warsaw it is more of a trend, than a way of living & in Krakow the other way around - but don't throw stones at me! think about it, analyse it and let me know what you think ;) Everyone seems on the run there, racing, wanting more money - more power - more technology. Sometimes - even though I like Warsaw - I feel like the city has its own pace, faster than the usual, faster than it should be...
They are in the proces now of opening up a new brand, that specialises in fishes, but I will tell you more about that on a later post ;) but in case you wish to find them, search for Sztuka Śledzia on Facebook ;) and as Piotr says: "For good things you have to wait!"
The best selling products for Naturalny Sklepik are the cheeses + spices + fresh products (both vegetables and the fruits, that come always fresh from the local providers/producers - they always buy the products first hand and they do not like going through re-sellers). When it comes to the least selling product, it is hard to tell! as the product range always changes, in accordance to what the clients need. It is a fluent process where they order precisely what they know will be bought.
You can find Naturalny Sklepik open each day between 9 AM and 7 PM, Saturday between 9 AM and 3 PM and Sundays it is always closed + the legal holidays in Poland (the official holidays, like Easter and so on.). The outside area is perfect for meetings between friends and you can have some tea/coffee/juice or even wine - of course everything is self-service so you need to come inside, buy the products and then enjoy them outside :)
You can also have some homemade cookies - like the brownie with fruits, in the pictures above. The producers for the sweets and the bread are small initiatives inside the local market - and I love that! the care about the local products and keeping the small initiatives alive as well. I recommend Naturalny Sklepik from all my heart and I am happy that such a place exists in Krakow and that I finally managed to find it! :)
** Sponsored post but written from the heart, without any external influences**
The LadyBug That Will Visit Soon The Naturalny Sklepik & Buy Some Homemade Sweets