Food and gardening
October Books is a not-for-profit co-operative bookshop that opened in Southampton in 1977. Although they are a bookshop, they also sell a wide and increasing range of fair trade, organic and ethical foods and drinks, and environmentally-friendly cleaning products and toiletries. They sell them at less than the recommended retail price, and for an identical item (same manufacturer and size) they regularly check to make sure that they are cheaper than supermarket prices (except for supermarkets special offers).
Address: 243 Portswood Road, Southampton, SO17 2NG.
Open: Mon-Sat 9am-6pm
The Eco Collective is a non-profit organisation that sells vegan, ethically sourced foods online at affordable prices. It is our mission to make it easy and affordable for anyone and everyone to live sustainably by offering ethically sourced, vegan products at the lowest prices possible and we have done this by building both an online vegan supermarket and a platform for subscribed Members to shop at trade prices.
Infinity Foods Wholesale
Infinity Foods began in 1971 with a small shop in Brighton. Now it is one of the UK’s leading national and international distributors of high quality, organic, fair trade and natural products. At Infinity, providing an extensive range of high-quality vegetarian foods is what they commit to. They provide food that is, as much as possible, natural and unadulterated, free from GM and hydrogenated fat, organic accredited and sourced products from companies with high ethical standards. They also recycle their own-generated glass, cans, plastic, tetra-pak, and cardboard waste. Additionally, the company has been a workers’ cooperative since 1979, creating a motivate and unified workforce who truly care about the business and their customers.
Address: 46 Dolphin Road, Shoreham-by Sea, West Sussex, BN43 6PB
Rice Up Wholefoods
Rice Up Wholefoods is an independent wholefood grocery shop at the heart of Southampton city centre. They sell a plethora of ethical, fair traded, and organic products at affordable prices. From freshly baked goods to eco-friendly toiletries, and pet foods. However, what sets this store apart from others is the amount of unpackaged products you can buy. These include a variety of cereal, pulses, dry fruits, as well as spices! Either use the paper bags provided or bring your own containers to reduce waste, the friendly staff should be able to help with tare weight. If you are a vegan or want to try vegan food, this place is ideal to shop in. They are a relatively small vegan store but with a huge collection of different vegan products in comparison to other big supermarket chains. Amongst other food, they sell an assortment of vegan cheese and even seitan (“wheat meat”). The store also has a deli counter where you can pop in and buy a healthy lunch, knowing you are supporting a sustainability-focused business.
Address: 20 Hanover Buildings, Southampton SO14 1JH
Rood Food is a wholefoods bulk buying group, based loosely around the Portswood area of Southampton. And we're only slightly Rood. The name comes from Holyrood Avenue, where some of us live. We started in 2011, with the aim of accessing a wider range of organic non-perishable food and eco-friendly household products. We order every 2 months from either Infinity Foods or Essential Trading, either splitting cases between us or taking bulk packs. Aside from our 2% 'commission' to cover running costs, everything is available at wholesale cost. There is no membership fee, though we do ask for occasional help with orders. We are currently accepting new members.
Sunnyfields is a family business based in Totton that was started by Ian and Louise Nelson and their children Emma and Tom; with food, people and the environment are at the core of the company. The farm shop is open 7 days a week and we have large range of products including their own grown produce. You can also hire a venue at Sunnyfilds, for which they can cater for any events such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, farm tours, corporate team building, charity events, and much more.
Address: Jacobs Gutter Lane, Totton, Southampton, SO40 9FX
Tel: 023 8086 1266
New Forest Marque
The New Forest Marque was created to provide recognised sign that is easily identified and ensures that all produce is from the New Forest. The Marque is awarded to produce which has been grown, reared, caught, brewed, produced or processed within the New Forest with stringent standards relevant to their own speciality. For example, meat producers must show high standards of welfare and application of good husbandry at all times. By buying the products with the New Forest Marque, you are helping sustain the rural economy.
Address: Lymington Town Hall, Avenue Road, Lymington, SO41 9ZG
ALLOTMENTS/COMMUNITY GROWING SPACES
Ropewalk Community Garden
A delightful walled garden in the centre of inner-city Southampton. Ropewalk Community Garden is a unique space in the inner-city of Southampton. The Garden is open every weekday between 9am-5pm and people are welcome to garden, grow food, play or relax. Soon there will be a ball area free to use, with café and public toilet coming further in the future. Ropewalk organise gatherings every third Saturday of the month when they tidy, do various maintenance and growing projects, share ideas and drink tea (and sometimes have cake too!). At these events, they’re also joined by the Transition Southampton group Bike2Basics, who can fix your bike or show you how to fix it yourself!
Address: 53 Derby Road, Southampton, SO14 0DJ
Shirley Warren Community Garden
Shirley Warren Community Garden is an urban oasis. The volunteer project transformed from a wasteland into a popular garden complete with a sensory area including a water feature, and a pond full of wildlife.
The Community Garden is fully accessible to all, and open from 10.00am until dusk. In particular, the Garden provides a useful recreational and learning resource for the adjacent Shirley Warren Schools, and Shirley warren Action Church. They continue to invite the local community to enjoy the Garden and welcome any individuals or groups that wish to join our existing enthusiastic band of volunteers who regularly give up their time to care for and improve the Garden for the benefit of its users.
Tel: 023 8066 0225
Southampton Allotment and Gardens Association
Southampton Allotment and Gardens Association (SAGA) are a group of dedicated and friendly people who are keen to help other growers and gardeners to achieve their aims and listen to their views and suggestions to improve the Association and its service to members. SAGA was started as a Friendly Society during difficult economic times and still nominally retains this status today. The bulk purchase of goods required and then sold on to members resulted in considerable savings to the individual and the Association grew rapidly. This tradition is carried on to this day through their trading sheds and events where you can come to buy seeds/plants and talk to people who enjoy growing their own produce.
Anyone with an interest in gardening (you don’t even have to have a plot on an allotment) in Southampton can become a SAGA member, which allows you to purchase discounted goods at their trading sheds. They also welcome anyone to their shows and events including plant sales.
Address: 43 Turnstone Gardens, Lordswood, Southampton, SO16 8EW
An allotment is an area of land, which can be rented for growing fruit and vegetables for you and your family. There are over 1800 allotment plots on 25 different sites around Southampton, available to rent annually. Anyone who lives within the city boundary is eligible to apply for an allotment. The cost to rent a site depends on the location and size of the plot. The average standard plot costs around £60 a year. Discounts are available for people over 60 and those receiving benefits. Southampton City Council can provide advice on which sites are available and how to get the best out of your allotment, depending on what you want to grow. Whether it’s a hobby or not, growing your own food can reconnect us to the food and is a great way to keep moving and maintain your health.
SHOPS/BUSINESSES THAT SELL LOCAL PRODUCE
Café Thrive is truly a place for delicious food, good coffee, and a relaxed atmosphere – with very friendly staff. They are a small local business in Southampton who believes that good food shouldn’t cost the Earth. On pursuing this, they have not only maintained but enhanced the food delivered in restaurants. The food here not only looks, smells, and tastes delicious but is also affordable. To top it all off, it’s hearty and nutritious! Their entire menu is plant-based with plenty of non-gluten and soya free options. This means pretty much everyone can eat here, so bring all your friends to explore their palate (like I did!). You can try food you have never tried such as cashew ‘cheese’, tempeh, seitan, etc. Treat yourself to a meat-free burger and sweet potato wedges washed down with a creamy dairy-free milkshake or organic smoothie (if wanting to get in some extra nutrition for the day)! They also have a display full of sweet treats for any sweet tooths out there. An array of Fairtrade, Organic and Rainforest Alliance certified tea and coffee awaits you to explore. Café Thrive is a place to catch up with friends, work, or place to pop in for a quick meal!
“Cafe Thrive is my favourite cafe in Southampton. Really friendly service, really great food. I'm not vegan but I would happily eat Cafe Thrive's food all day long. Love the decor and the ethos of the whole cafe too. My son is dairy intolerant and his eyes just lit up at all the 'cream' cakes and doughnuts - stuff he can't normally eat. They have a good mix of healthy food with some really classic comfort foods too - great taste, ethical, planet-friendly, people friendly, what's not to love!” – Review by Kate
Address: 18 Hanover Buildings, Southampton, UK, SO14 1JX
Tel: 02380 338 708
Charlotte lives in Shaftesbury Ave, Highfield and uses traditional methods with a modern twist, locally sourced ingredients and eggs from her own hens, whenever possible, to produce small batches of jams, pickles, and preserves in her own kitchen. She uses recipes handed down by her mother creating artisan products of the highest quality. No additives of any kind are added since good traditional preserving doesn’t really need them! All the products are suitable for vegetarians, and all except the lemon curd, pickled eggs and piccalilli are suitable for vegans.
“Lovely lady, lovely handmade pickles, and preserves” – a review by one of Charlotte’s customer.
Tel: 02380 671047
Hannah Banana Bakery
Hannah Banana Bakery is a multi-award winning bakery based in right here in Southampton. She specialises in creating delicious cakes and sweet treats without dairy, eggs or animal products of any kind. Whether you are lactose intolerant, coeliac or have allergies or just a cake addict, Hannah and her bakery are ideal for you! All Hannah Banana cakes are made without suitable for vegans and made by a vegan (with category of gluten and sugar-free products!), but this doesn’t hinder their yummy flavour. All the cakes are hand-made by Hannah using quality ingredients and are never frozen. are made using the finest local, fair-trade and organic ingredients.
Little Bee Bakery
Little Bee Bakery is a family run artisan bakery based in Romsey, Hampshire. It all started when a mum wanted to give her young son biscuits and cakes that contained no preservatives or artificial additives! Now, they produce high quality, delicious, handmade cakes, and biscuits for everyone. Everything is individually baked to your specific order, using the best quality ingredients, sourced from local Hampshire producers where possible, and no shelf life preservatives are added to anything they make. As they believe everyone should be able to have their cake and eat it, most of their products can be made gluten free, dairy free and vegan-friendly at no extra cost - just ask!
Address: Unit 24, Basepoint Business Centre, Premier Way, Abbey Park lnd Estate, Romsey SO51 9AQ
Tel: 01794 329263
Uptons of Bassett
This award-winning butchers is the result of methods handed down from the past and skillfully updated by Simon and his dedicated team. Sourcing the best quality breeds, with an emphasis on local, free-range products ensures meat from Uptons of Bassett not only tastes outstanding but answers health and animal welfare concerns too. They use around 20 local suppliers for meat and ten for various items such as honey, chutney, and charcoal. They also sell a wide range of products such as gourmet sausages and burgers, fresh and smoked fish, specialty cheeses, pies, as well as ready-made meals.
Address: 351 Winchester Road, Bassett, Southampton, SO16 7DJ
Tel: 023 8039 3959
Hampshire Fare exists to support local food, drink, and craft producers. They are a not-for-profit organization working closely with over 400 businesses involved in rearing, growing, and making an array of products including cheese, wine, beer, meat, charcuterie, pies, spirits, cider, and lots more. Their aim is to inspire you to explore the flavour on our doorstep! Hampshire has a varied landscape from coast to forest, rivers to valleys, and heath to weald. Hampshire benefits from diverse growing conditions bringing with it a rich and tempting mix of produce. So they also aim to inform, educate, and inspire the public to look locally when buying produce and to establish Hampshire as a destination for food lovers e.g. by organising The Hampshire Food Festival (which was the ‘Tourism Event of the Year’ bronze award winner at the 2016 Beautiful South Awards).
Address: Rownhams House & Gardens, Rownhams, Southampton, Hampshire, SO16 8LS
Southampton Seed Swap
Seed swap gives growers to choose seeds from dozens of traditional varieties of garden vegetables in return for a donation or in exchange for seed they have saved. IT’s a great place to meet like-minded people, from new gardeners to people who have been giving away free courgettes by the tonne!
Southampton Seed Swap happens every February, usually the weekend after the Brighton event.
Address: The Art House, 178 Above Bar Street, Southampton, SO14 7DW
Aldermoor Community Farm
The aldermoor community farm is a co-operative of ordinary people working together to produce as much food as we can in a sustainable way, with the further goal to nurture the potential of people and land. They are restoring an acre of agricultural land that has been overgrown for many years and designing their farm using permaculture principles. In addition to the benefit of good fresh food, they provide a place where members of the local community get to know each other, a place where people find peace and well-being, and a place of learning together. They also have a farm shop and, while you’re there, you can wander around the farm and feed the chickens or sit by the pond.
The farm shop is open on Wednesday and Saturday, from 9 am to 5 pm.
“Awesome initiative, creating food in the suburbs of Southampton. Encouraging others to get involved, and living a healthy lifestyle. Would highly recommend visiting, and helping out.” - James
Address: Aldermoor Road, Southampton SO16 5NN
RESTAURANTS/CAFES THAT SELL LOCAL PRODUCE
Kate's Cafe Lounge
A friendly, welcoming cafe with local and ethical produce at its heart. This British café is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or lunch and it has options for vegetarians, vegans, and gluten-free. A review has said “Kate Cafe is excellent, they cater extremely well for Families and I often take my daughter in there for lunch. The food is fresh and well cooked, the prices are good value and they get your food to you very quickly. Highly recommended!”
Address: 227 Portswood Road, Southampton, SO17 2NF
Tel: 023 8058 1872
Round About Café is a community facility for the people. They’re a quiet friendly oasis where you can relax and read a book or meet friends while eating some homemade cake or freshly made sandwiches. They aren’t your everyday café! Besides tea and coffee, some reasons you want to visit is to relax and recharge your batteries; use their free WiFi and laptops; support local growers; or their winning ‘Round About breakfast’. It truly has community spirit and is child/mum/dad/grandparent/friend/everyone friendly!
Address: Westfield Corner, SO18 2LE Southampton
Tel: 023 8067 2700
The Alexandra Beer Emporium
The Alex is a traditional pub with lively atmosphere with a beautiful, enclosed garden. It is the perfect spot to relax, socialise, and enjoy the sun. Also known for their infamous cocktails in town (the Star Wars and Game of Thrones PINT cocktails). Along with food that is cooked to order, using local ingredients, they provide live sporting coverage, live music, open mic, quiz nights, as well as vegan night every Wednesday (with gluten-free beer too!).
Address: 6 Bellevue Road, Southampton, SO15 2AY
Tel: 023 8033 5071
The Art House
The Art House is a not-for-profit ‘Community Interest Company’, formed in 2008 by four like-minded ecocentrics with a passion for art, community, and above all, cake. The Art House encourages positive, sustainable & healthy living by implementing the most sustainable possible options for all of their activities, striving to reduce, re-use and recycle and to minimise our carbon footprint in all aspects of the business, serving wholesome vegan and vegetarian food and drink – organic and locally produced wherever possible, supporting and promoting (non party political) environmental groups and campaigns, and be underpinned by the principles of ecological, social and financial sustainability.
If you are looking for a place that’s different from anywhere you’ve ever been, a place that welcomes the unexpected and unusual, you will feel very at home here.
Address: 178 Above Bar Street, Southampton, SO14 7DW
Tel: 023 8023 8582
The Parklife Cafe, St James Park
This Café in St.James' Park is operated by ParkLife, a community interest company established by FoSJP to run the Café and Community Room as a social enterprise. The café serves classic British food for breakfast and lunch. Selection of cakes also awaits you as a treat! The community room can be hired out by individuals, community organisations, educational groups, or private organisations. Any surplus profits made by Parklife are given to FoSJP who will use the money to further improve park facilities and services for the community.
Address: Friends of St James Park, c/o 133 Church Street, Southampton SO15 5LW
Tel: 023 8077 9763
Rockstone is an independent pub in the heart of Southampton. All food is homemade and locally sourced wherever possible and always cooked to order. Alongside their famous burgers, they serve decadent desserts and a wide range of vegan and gluten-free food. To go with the food, they have a huge selection of drinks with a wide-ranging mix of craft, local, and specialised beers and ciders.
Address: 63 Onslow Rd, Bevois Valley, Southampton SO14 0JL
The White Star Tavern
About us: The White Star combines a restaurant, gastro-pub, and accommodation – and local food is key in all areas, from the jam, butter and eggs for breakfast through burgers and salads to three-course meals. The dining room menu at The White Star closely follows local seasonal food, meaning it changes on a week-to-week basis. A local forager provides them with wild mushrooms, sea asparagus, and samphire, whilst the staff picks nettles and wild garlic for their dishes. They use a wide range of local suppliers, including Uptons of Bassett, Lavistoke Park, Pratt’s Rapeseed Oil, Isle of Wight Blue Cheese, Sunnyfields and Rosary Goat Cheese. The White Star Tavern is a member of Hampshire Fare.
Address: 28 Oxford Street, Southampton, SO14 3DJ
Tel: 023 8082 1990
Who doesn’t like Indian food! The menu provided by Indian melody is authentic and prepared in an open kitchen to adhere to the traditional way of cooking. They provide authentic vegetarian Indian restaurant in Southampton! You can stand outside the kitchen and watch your food being made by their excellent chefs, before tasting the delight. It’s obvious they care for the food and the quality of the clarity of the flavour, texture, and taste. They cater for everyone including vegetarians, vegans, and jains, and have a menu for coeliacs and diabetics! Ask for any specific dishes if you are allergic to any spices/nuts, as they prepare every dish from scratch. Most of the dishes are gluten-free but do specify if you require gluten-free dishes.
“I have visited Indian Melody on many occasions. I love the vintage decor of the place. Food is delicious. I would recommend their Lunch buffet that has lots of variety and great value for money.” - Preeti.
Address: 25 High Street, Southampton, Hampshire, SO14 2DF
Tel: 02380638998 or 07553361007
Dancing Man Brewery
Dancing man brewery started back in 2015 with 2 fermenters. Within 3 years, they now have 7 fermenters meaning they are brewing even more wonderful beer. They have been awarded the Best Bar None Pub 2016, Best Bar None Overall Winner, and the Best Design in the South. Along the way, they have won lots of awards for their wonderful brews! They are totally independent, privately owned company brewing fabulous beer and serving it with delicious food.
Address: Town Quay, Southampton, SO14 2AR
PLEASE TELL US about any other Southampton green businesses, community enterprises or community groups that should be here by using the form below - and update us on changes to any of the above.