Mumbai: It’s a small cult which is growing in number. This group intends to gather every Sunday at Birla Krida Kendra to sell and buy organic products. This organic market is happening in the kendra for the first time but is expected to continue.
“We are planning to hold it every Sunday. As of now, it is a group of people who I invited through social media but we hope to get more people. More than 50 per cent of our customers have been from South Mumbai. It was a main reason for us to start this Sunday market here,” said Aakash Thakkar who is organising the ‘The Farmer’s market, Chowpatty’ and also runs an organisation—the farmer (supplies organic farm produce).
While some end up buying bulk of veggies for their week-long needs, there are others– first timers procrastinating if they should buy it now or maybe next Sunday or not buy it at all due to high prices. Charni-road resident said, “I might buy it next time when I come. Also, I found the prices slightly higher from the regular products.”
The market offers vegetables picked right out of a farm in Karjat, Nashik and Pune, to foodgrain from across the country, to cooked food and fermented food (all organic). Nidhi Arya who was selling ales and cider has already sold over 10 bottles, “I do this during the weekends. I have a full-time corporate job. My partner and I started this just recently.”
Yet another customer comes to her to enquire and she explains it is a cider with no sugar and preservatives. “These drinks are completely acquired taste. We have more than four flavours—Coconut mint, apple, ginger ales, pineapple— and we have some people who place their order with us regularly,” she explains.
This curated marketplace also has organic soaps and detergents which is sold by 73-year old Ashok Mehta. “I am a retired but I am doing this after I realised there is gap in India for organic food. I source organic products from across the country and sell it in various market places. Next week, I will be in Nariman Point.”
Yet another South-Mumbai based customer said, “I travel up to Bandra at times to buy organic food. I stock for the week. All my family members prefer it.” This market on its first day received over 150 people in less than four hours. Thakkar stated, “We made more than 150 sales. The response has been overwhelming for day one.” He hopes the buzz continues every Sunday.
In case all this inspires you to grow some organic veggies in your terrace, then the marketplace offers a crash course from Inora representatives. “We cannot train people right now but we sell them with pot mixtures and compost equipment,” said Hemant, a representative of Pune-based Inora. It is working with companies and societies to train them manage waste and use it as compost.
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