It is surprising how popular healthy lifestyle is becoming in Ukraine now. It seems that only several years ago people were fond of eating “salo” (pork fat) with bread and green onion – traditional Ukrainian food. These days people started to eat more useful food for their body. As a result, in Ukraine have appeared many different eco friendly small shops which guarantee that vegetarians, vegans, and even raw vegans will not be hungry. In such shops it is possible to find any kind of super-healthy, nutritious and tasty produce of Ukrainian small companies and farms. But not only can you buy food there but you can also but cruelty free cosmetics! So let’s have a look at the most popular eco shops in Ukraine.
If you decide to try different styles of cooking, it would be great for you to now where you can buy ingredients. It happens often when you have a vegan friend and you have no idea what to cook if they come for dinner.
In Ukraine, it is obvious that Kyiv is a centre of healthy lifestyle culture. Here you can find not only eco shops but restaurants as well. You can read about them in our previous article http://www.ukraine-blog.com/2018/01/19/eating-raw-in-kiev/ Even if you don’t fancy cooking, you can order a delivery. In case you are adventurous, follow us into the best Kyiv shops and more.
We searched for eco shops and realised that there are several kinds of them. We can divide them into two big groups: the first is a store network and the second one is a family business (or business led by vegan and raw vegan enthusiasts). Other difference between the shops is that some of them have websites and some of them don’t. It means that in the internet you will only find their address and telephone (if you are lucky). But it is better if you visit those shops to see if they are good enough for your taste. Please note that eco shop doesn’t mean that only tofu and vegetables are sold there. Most of the them also have eco farm produce (not mass production – animals are treated properly as the volume of production is small) like milk, cottage cheese, cow and goat cheese, different kinds of meat. This kind of farming is actively supported in Europe.
To be honest, eco farming is not that popular in Ukraine at present time. People are not ready to perceive that in mass production of meat animals suffer and they are not ready to pay for the eco produce more. Nevertheless, more and more see the difference.
Kyiv hides many secrets. First vegetarian shops appeared (and it is hard to believe) almost on the outskirts of the city. In the city there are two districts that make locals’ skin crawl if you mention those – Borschahivka and Troyeschyna. These Brooklyns of Kyiv are not that dangerous.
The first shop was opened not far from Borschahivka, close to Nyvky metro station. It is still working so you can go and check. This shop belongs to the enthusiasts and location has changed since the time it was created. It is still called The First Vegetarian Shop. It is a small and nice place. Here you can buy many interesting produce. And good news is that there is a website: http://vegmag.blogspot.com/
Address: 2/4 Kulybina Street, Kyiv
Working hours: every day 10:00-20:00
Unfortunately, the owners cannot afford a person who publishes information on the website that’s why last posts were written in 2012. But the shop is still working. You can buy but milk, soya yogurts, cocoa butter, tofu, vegan sausages, rice, green buckwheat, nuts, etc. Employees are usually polite and can give you some advice.
The second shop was opened in Troyeschyna. It was called Greenfood but, due to the competitors (yes, this segment is developing) and high taxes for small business, it was closed. This shop was similar to the first one. But here you could also buy more healthy sweets and high-quality spices. To bad so sad, because it was a great opportunity for people of that district to buy eco produce without going to the other side of Dnipro river. Moreover, it used to be the only place where you could buy green buckwheat… Now you can buy it in any supermarket.
Eco Lavka is the biggest network of eco shops in Ukraine. It is popular because it is affordable and sells the produce of Ukrainian manufacturers and farmers that you will definitely not find in the supermarkets. There are shops not only in Kyiv but also in other cities of Ukraine. Addresses are published on the website: http://www.eco-lavca.ua/
The funny thing about this network is its amazing logo cow. It is placed next to every shop so you can see it blocks away.
Before there used to be only several shops in Kyiv. Later on, the owners have developed a great strategy. They have placed small shops in different districts of the city right in the sleeping cells. The effect was wonderful. People got curious and started visiting these shops! Another great strategy was to employ kind and polite people and then teach them how to treat customers. The sales raise because employees were taught in a right way – they made customers buy produce that they hadn’t planned on buying. But the produce was so much better than the supermarket one that they came back again and again. Several years ago, there have appeared loyalty cards with a little logo cow on them. People are treated nicely and are happy to come back. It is written on each card – “the card of a favourite customer”. Won’t you love this? And the range of products is wide: for meat eaters, vegetarians, vegans and raw vegans. You can even but natural cruelty free cosmetics and medicine.
This is one more, smaller network. Not many people know but these shops were part of Eco Lavka network. Later on, they decided to go in different directions. As the owners explained, they had different strategies for their development. And the products in these networks are different. Green Store has their own line of natural cosmetics and oil perfume. Believe us, you need to try those. Many vegans survive day after day in Kyiv thanks to this small shops.
Here you can also receive a loyalty card. It is super deep green and gives you 3% of a discount. It is not that much but make you feel appreciated.
This one is fancier and more concentrated on importing products. Unfortunately, it will not become a personal favourite of vegans and raw vegans. But for people who want to buy organic products of foreign manufacturers, this place is ideal. Or if you search for a quick and healthy snack.
As you can see, the best place for buying food to treat “that vegetarian friend of yours” are spread all over Kyiv city. If you are vegetarian yourself, you need to visit these shops. You will be surprised how tasty vegetarian food can be. There is a company in Bila Tserkva which produces natural raw sweets and chocolate. You need to try those. And here we leave you hungry and intrigued till the next article.