Piko Wholefoods is a workers co-operative and charitable trust. We have a strong ethos of keeping our environmental footprint as low as possible. We have a strong sense of social responsibility. We know the practical benefits and affordability of nutrient dense, wholefood eating for physical and mental health.
In 1979 Piko Wholefoods opened as a tiny dairy to sell organic produce grown by local people in the Avon Loop area. Locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables, organic grains, seeds, nuts and pulses were supplied to the shop in bulk for customers to purchase without packaging. Flour and other locally milled products became available for sale too with an increasing amount being also certified organic.
The decision to be a completely vegetarian store was made early in this story and we remain so.
Over time the demand for produce and other organically grown foods grew. Our trading partners, Ceres Organics, Kerrindale, Chantal Organics and Trade Aid were at this time also growing and able to supply Piko with more variety of certified organic products. These companies would search the world for socially responsible and organically grown crops and secure them for importation into New Zealand. They each had their own international partners which they would audit to ensure the processing facilities met the high organic standards.
Beans, lentils, rice, spices, seeds, nuts, canned tomatoes, chocolate, coffee, nut butters etc were all basic food supplies coming into Piko. Also bulk liquid foods such as honey, vinegar, tahini, tamari, olive oil etc became more available and with demand increasing Piko was able to broaden its range.
As time passed more and more local companies gained distribution rights for supply lines that serviced people with specific diet requirements. These include, dairy free milks, gluten free products, vegan cheeses, sugar free products. The variety of products available for special diets is astronomical. With that said, Piko Wholefoods maintains a ‘simple is best approach’ to all the speciality diets. Bulk wholefoods and fresh produce remain the core of our business, as they provide the best affordable nutrition.
We look for simple products that are locally made, high quality, certified organic, can service a range of diet choices and are delicious. Many people ask us to stock supplements or ranges from other countries but we maintain our stance that the best health is gained from eating local, seasonal, fresh, organic produce and foods that are minimally processed. This means buying a variety of bulk wholefoods, cooking at home, sharing food with people you love and appreciating the energy and effort put into nourishment.
In 2019 the co-operative turned 40 years old. We celebrated this achievement with a huge amount of specials and giveaways. It has been an absolute pleasure to service this community for so many years, we look forward to many more birthdays to come!
Piko after the 22nd February 2010 Christchurch earthquake