A Wholesome Life from Silo Wholefoods

Image source: Photographer Megan Gill Portrait

Get back to basics at Silo Wholefoods where Sarah Vercoe discovers a wonderland of wholefoods served with a side of welcoming warmth.

Nestled in the heart of Yandina’s unassuming town centre sits Silo Wholefoods. Describing this inviting market as a health food store would be an injustice because it’s so much more than a shop people can go to buy the latest health food trend. If a shop could have soul then this one fits the bill. A testament, no doubt, to the friendly staff who create a welcoming atmosphere akin to a visit to your beloved grandmother’s house. 

It’s the kind of place where you’re just as likely to leave with a bag full of groceries as you are with a recipe for a make-from-scratch casserole, courtesy of the impassioned founder.  

An ardent advocate for wholesome living, Nicky Watson opened Silo Wholefoods to address the misconception that eating well has to be complicated. 

“It shouldn’t be a mystery,” Nicky says. “There are healthy food alternatives and they don’t have to be complicated or expensive. It’s possible to eat well without having to rely on mass-produced, pre-prepared foods.” 

In a world where ready-made meals fill freezers, preservatives are considered the norm, and there’s no limitations around seasonal produce, our innate connection with food has all but been lost. But things are starting to change – ironically due to COVID-19.  

“There’s been renewed interest in returning to the principles I grew up with,” Nicky says reflecting on the impact the pandemic has had on what people are buying. It’s clear this is a welcome plot twist for Nicky, who beams a zealous appreciation for getting back-to-basics in the kitchen.  

“My mum made everything from scratch and we only ate what my dad could grow on the farm, what was in season,” she said. “I like to think Silo Wholefoods can be a vehicle for people to go back to that way of eating.”  

With a wide selection of bulk foods, fresh organic produce and quality pantry staples, Silo Wholefoods is a wonderland for anyone looking to be more self sufficient and embrace slow living.  

As one of those people who’s under the false assumption that eating well means slaving over a hot stove for hours I’m starting to think I’ve been led astray. . 

Wondering how I can jump onboard the easy, bake-from-scratch train I inquire about what goes into a simple yet nutritious meal.

“The basics every kitchen should have are good quality olive oil, salt, and vinegar. If you have these you can almost always create something delicious,” Nicky assures me. 

“Of course there will be times when cooking from scratch just isn’t realistic but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on quality. There are some excellent easy-meal options available for time-poor people who still want to eat healthy.

“We stock a range of products from local producers who prioritise clean ingredients such as preservative-free sausages, ham and bacon, handmade organic sourdough and pizza bases, local seafood, pasta, dips and much more.”  

Like many working mums who want to feed their family a healthy and nutritious meal at the end of a long day, this knowledge produced an involuntary sigh of relief on my part.  

Browsing the isles stocked full of wholefoods of every size, shape, and colour it’s easy to get inspired to forge your own healthy living journey. 

Unlike the health food stores of days gone by you won’t find any cardboard-tasting products on their shelves. In fact the variety is staggering, particularly given Nicky’s scrupulous buying criteria.  

“Before we put anything on our shelves we ensure it’s either organic, seasonal, local or Australian-made; and we also take into consideration how clean it is and what sort of food miles are involved,” Nicky says. “If we don’t stock something we’ll always try to get it in for a customer if they ask,” she says. 

My eyes linger on the delectable-looking chocolate morsels from vegan chocolate artisans Loving Earth; Byron Bay Macadamia Muesli sits pretty alongside other tasty cereals; healthy snacks fill the gaps and freshly-baked bread is displayed on the counter. 

There’s a plethora of goodies to complement a healthy lifestyle like reusable food wraps, recipe books, ceramic coffee mugs, brightly coloured shopping baskets… it’s like Disneyland for health-goers.  

While all these things add up to a haven for anyone who’s on their own healthy living journey, it’s the welcoming ambience that’s addictive. 

Almost like shopping from your grandmother’s pantry.  

You can find Silo Wholefoods at 1 Old Gympie Road, Yandina. Phone 5472 7483



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