The Rise of London’s Planet Organic

As a personal trainer my London clients often ask me questions like: “where can I buy rye or millet bread in London?” or “are there any shops in London which sell chia seeds?”

My usual answer to these questions is “Planet Organic.”

Bursting onto the London scene in 1995 with its first store in Westbourne Grove W2, Planet Organic is now the UK’s largest certified organic supermarket with six London stores. It has built up quite a fan base, with over 30,000 followers on Twitter. As founder Renee Elliott said in a newspaper interview: “It’s a Mecca for people with allergies and special dietary requirements”.

This Aladdin’s cave of healthy foods includes coconut oil, coconut water, Casa Grande pasta (such as beetroot pasta shells, or squid ink pasta), Ecomil hemp milk (lactose-free, sugar-free, gluten-free), Lovechoc organic raw chocolate with almond & cinnamon, and a range of healthy breads including millet, rye and spelt.

One product that caught my eye, as it’s been in the media a lot recently, was Chia seeds. They’re native to South America, and a highly nutritious complete protein. They also contain three bone-strengthening minerals: phosphorus, calcium and manganese.

Mississippi-born Renee Elliott was brought up by health conscious parents: her father kept a large vegetable garden, and her mother was into healthy cookery. Renee’s book “Me, You, and the Kids Too” is full of family recipes.

In interviews with The Independent and The Telegraph, Renee Elliott revealed that her favourite comfort food is Green & Black’s dark salted chocolate, and her favourite London restaurant is Providores on Marylebone High Street. Her inspiration is Craig Sams, founder of Whole Earth Foods.

Where in London can you find a Planet Organic? Here are the 6 London stores:

Westbourne Grove
42 Westbourne Grove, London W2 5SH

Devonshire Square
10 Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4AE

Muswell Hill
111/117 Muswell Hill Road, London N10 3HS

64 Essex Road, London N1 8LR

52 Garratt Lane, Wandsworth, London SW18 4FT

Torrington Place
22 Torrington Place, London WC1E 7HJ

Dominic Londesborough is a personal trainer in London, and founder of the Fitness Buddy social network on the website.