This post is in collaboration with Perelandra Natural Foods.
Located in Brooklyn Heights, Perelandra Natural Foods is an independent grocery store dedicated to organic and natural foods. This month, they’re celebrating their 40th anniversary (!!!), which is a pretty big deal for a small locally owned business. Based on how busy it was when I visited, it’s clear that Perelandra is a go to spot for anyone who is health conscious, plant-based, or simply a lover of quality foods.
I was invited to visit Perelandra to chat with with Allison, one of the owners of Perelandra, who also handles purchasing for the store and is a certified dietitian-nutritionist. She also happens to be a longtime vegan, but makes it a point to stock the store with organic goodness for eaters of all kinds. One thing that’s really interesting is that businesses have actually changed their products to be 100% organic so that Perelandra would carry them.
As Allison took me on a tour through the store, I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. I was like a kid at a candy store, but substitute candy for organic vegan products. Here are some highlights from my visit…
The most important section of any grocery store is the produce section. Everything at Perelandra is certified organic, of course. Don’t all the greens look fresh and beautiful? And don’t assume that organic means expensive. Perelandra’s prices seem very reasonable for locally grown, organic fruit and veggies.
Here’s something I have not seen any other grocery store: a climate controlled bulk foods room! Grains, nuts, beans, granola, dried fruit… everything you could ever dream of is in this carefully organized room. I did a quick scan of the containers for my favorite nut, cashews, and saw many varieties that I’ll have to come back for.
If you’re not looking to grocery shop, the juice bar and kitchen is a good reason to pop into Perelandra anyway. The sandwiches, wraps, and soups make a healthy lunch or snack. During peak lunch hours, it’s not uncommon for them to serve up to 500 customers from this tiny kitchen. I happened to visit around 2pm, when they take a moment for a quick round of applause to celebrate the end of the lunch rush.
I tried the leafy green organic blend from the juice bar. (It took a while for them to make my order as the juicer blew a fuse and needed to be reset. Just goes to show how crowded and popular the juice bar is!) Fresh green yumminess with a subtle zing to it: collards, kale, spinach, chard, parsley, and bok choi. It was a tasty afternoon pick me up.
I suspected that Perelandra’s vegan meats and vegan cheese game would be strong, and I was right! At Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, you might find one or two varieties of these vegan meat alternatives, but not the complete lineup from each brand like they have here. Also, they had an impressive vegan cheese selection, including some of my favorites from the vegan cheese tasting I attended recently.
Allison also pointed out the vegan ice cream section to me. Three Little Birds makes dairy-free, small batch ice cream in East Village. They crafted a flavor called Peaceful Planet specially for Perelandra and half of the proceeds go to UNICEF. I love that this yummy sweet treat supports a local plant-based business *and* a humanitarian organization at the same time.
While the store is known for its natural foods, they’re really a one stop shop for everything. Near the entrance, there’s natural makeup, vitamins, home goods, soaps, and more. Being the crazy cat lady that I am, I went in search for the pet food section. Sure enough, Perelandra has your furry friends covered too.
I also checked the frozen pizza section so I could report back to my pizza loving husband. Yup, they carry several brands of vegan pizza, including gluten free options too.
Since I had a busy day lined up for after my visit to Perelandra, I wasn’t able to do some real grocery shopping on this visit. (Next time!) However, Allison picked out Bjorn Qorn as a little take home treat for me. It tastes like your usual popcorn sprinkled with nutritional yeast, but the twist is that Bjorn Qorn is sun-popped in a solar kettle! The most appropriate way to enjoy this fun snack is outdoors on a sunny day. Don’t you think?
Note: This post is in collaboration with Perelandra Natural Foods. I was invited as a guest to this establishment and received complimentary samples. This was not in exchange for a positive review and all opinions expressed here are my own.