Greensmith Grocers: Cooking with Heart & Soul

Image source: Contributed

Tucked away in the stillness and serenity of the Noosa North Shore, Greensmith Grocer’s holistic Nourish Retreats are the perfect way to relax, unwind and be taken care of while learning the art of intuitive cooking. Jodie Cameron chats with owner Jess Holdsworth about her passion for feeding hearts, souls – and stomachs.

Is it me, or do the weeks seem to fly by at the speed of lightning — one minute it’s Monday and the next it’s Friday again; but do we ever really switch off? For Greensmith Grocers’ Jess Holdsworth, it’s a hard ‘no’ — and we owe it to ourselves to do it more often.

Designed to educate and inspire creativity in the kitchen, Jess’ upcoming Nourish Retreat will be held from 18-24 October in the tranquil coastal surroundings of Noosa North Shore.

“Our retreats are ideal for those wanting to develop new cooking skills, but if you’re only interested in the eating part — that’s okay too; guests can immerse themselves in the art of self-care while learning how to create delicious seasonal meals that nourish the body on a deeper level,” says Jess. “I will teach guests how to cook seasonally, which is a great way to save money, ensure variety and avoid the mundane go-to meals we can all resort to when pressed for time.”

Learning to cook is an essential life skill most people acquire at varying ages and stages, but the art of cooking intuitively is a skill akin to driving a car, or brushing your teeth — once you learn how, it becomes second nature and you can pretty much do it in your sleep.

“I simply cannot cook without two key ingredients — heart and soul; and both form the basis of my Queensland and Bali retreats,” Jess says. “I encourage people to cook with their eyes and what they have in their pantry; don’t be scared of swapping out ingredients because this is an excellent way to avoid food wastage while experimenting with new flavours.”

Offering guests a taste tester of all the things she loves in the world, the philosophy behind Jess’ retreats is for guests to enjoy beautiful organic food, good company, rest, reflection, indulgence, love, care, shared wisdom, and pure enjoyment — while feeling nourished and investing in self-care.

“We encourage guests to pack a bag and be completely looked after; do as much or as little as they like — there’s no need to think or worry, they can just be,” explains Jess. “Enjoying food the way we are supposed to with a relaxed nervous system, and surrounded by people who make us feel warm and included; we believe this is how our bodies are designed to be nourished.”

While developing knowledge and understanding of classic ingredients, flavour pairings and taste is a skill usually developed over time. So, with this in mind, Jess’ retreats focus on keeping things simple to inspire creative cooking.

“What makes my heart sing is how motivated guests are when they leave and how much more confident and free they are in the kitchen; they are empowered to experiment with herbs, spices, colour, texture and  fresh produce and continue their food and holistic health journey,” Jess enthuses.

Self-taught in the kitchen, Jess is a strong advocate for fresh, organic produce, and says while her retreats emphasise organic nutrition; there’s zero focus on diet rules or eliminating certain food groups — instead using intuition as a guide to creating food that nourishes more than any diet or supplement could.

“Practice makes perfect and the same rule applies to intuitive cooking,” she says. “Once you have your pantry staples sorted, the world really is your oyster when it comes to cooking whatever you like, when you like.”

As an ex-farmer, and natural born foodie, I adore cooking, especially with my boys, family and friends. The ritual of cooking has been a tradition in my life for as long as I can remember; from watching my Mother bake to using her hand-me-down utensils, including that retro yellow Tupperware colander; each element becomes a part of the experience and appreciation for cooking.

“It’s all about setting up your cooking space,” says Jess. “Whether that’s using your favourite bowl or like me; a $5 wooden spoon that I simply cannot cook without; it’s all about creating the right energy by listening and trusting your body knows what it feels like eating.”

From eating, sleeping, resting, reading, swimming, playing tennis, journaling, walking, chatting, or simply enjoying some time alone amongst the sounds of native bushland — the self-care options at Nourish Retreat are literally endless!

“Quite often guests arrive wanting to be involved in the cooking, but end up sitting back and simply enjoy the element of being taken care of,” Jess smiles. “I run daily cooking demos and workshops that bring a whole new level of connection to food, and a newfound inspiration in the kitchen, with a focus on vibrant vegetarian dishes made with organic and local produce, we cater to all dietary requirements,” Jess says.

Enjoy group cooking lessons, yoga classes, sunrise swims and daily QiGong — the inward act of regulating the mind, breath, and body’s movement and posture and the perfect way to start your day! And expect zero full days of sightseeing because this is your time to go slow, inward and connect back to yourself.

“And if you just want to sleep in, sleep in,” Jess Says. “The beauty of going on retreat is often the people you meet — like-minded souls who have decided to take time out at exactly the same time you have, and there’s often a lot of connection in those experiences.”

Which is why Jess is sharing the love and giving away a place for one lucky person to join her at the next Nourish Retreat! Simply scan the QR code (right)and you could be on your way to four blissful nights of self-indulgence and relaxation in Noosa!

Can’t carve out any time for a four-night stay, but still seeking to balance your inner zen while learning a thing or two in the kitchen? Join Jess for a FREE Balinese cooking class where she will share her best curry recipe from her Balinese retreat or enjoy FREE QiGong classes + coffee every Sunday in August at their Birtinya store. Check their website for more details.

So have I convinced you it’s your time to switch off and give yourself permission to savour every organic mouthful while filling your cup at a Greensmith Grocer’s Nourish Retreat? Sign-up for your soul full of solace today!


  • 4 nights’ accommodation in a twin-share room at Noosa North Shore
  • Organic home-cooked meals
  • 4 x daily nourishing breakfasts
  • 4 x gourmet lunches
  • 4 x comforting dinners
  • A 1hr indulgent body treatment (or as many as you’d like to book!)
  • Daily intuitive cooking sessions with Jess
  • Take home goodie bag + surprises
  • Relax by the pool
  • Daily QiGong

Enter the draw HERE to WIN!

About the Author /

[email protected]

Jodie is a city-turned-country-turned-coastal chick. With a degree in Journalism & PR and a passion for pulling together events with flair. Her 15+ years’ experience is diverse (including launching a macadamia nut farm)! In her spare time, she’s beachside with her two tiny treasures and furry love Staffy x Red Cattle dog, Rudi.

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