Features

Just Organic in the village

A little family-run shop called “Just Organic” has recently opened up in the heart of Naxxar.

The village’s newest addition offers a range of interesting organic, natural and eco-friendly products sourced from around the world. I paid the shop a visit just the other week to have a look and to speak to Sara, who is heading the operation.

Sara lives in Naxxar with her husband John and her two beautiful kids; Ella (8) and Benji (6) and has always enjoyed working in the family business. This particular project, however, is closest to her heart. “Living a more natural and organic lifestyle has become very important to me. My family’s well-being takes priority over everything else” she says as we sit down in the shop to chat.

Sara, you’ve recently opened “Just Organic”, where did the idea for this shop come from?

I think once you have kids, there is that element of responsibility that naturally comes with parenthood. I started to realise the amount of toxins my babies were exposed to from birth and I wanted to protect my family as best I could. I slowly started to change what I was buying and tried to change my house around to be as chemical free as possible. I believed that it was my duty as a mother to be able to offer alternatives.

After looking into all the products that I sourced from abroad; from shampoos to laundry liquids etc I quickly realized that we had a lack of choice here in Malta, even though now it’s a little better.

With “Just Organic” I wanted to provide an outlet to create more options for healthier and safer products. I also felt the need to create more awareness by getting more natural products on our shelves locally.

Why did you choose Naxxar as a location?

Naxxar is my hometown, I have so many fond memories growing up in this village as my parents have always lived here too. It made perfect sense to open up here. In fact, this shop forms part of the Village Concept which includes The Village Kitchen restaurant, the soon to open Village Hotel and another restaurant in the coming months… all in Naxxar.

So we know that it’s organic but what products can one expect to find on your shelves?

We stock quite a range of brands in store. Brands that you will find in other health shops and major supermarkets but also some top brands which we exclusively import and that are only available for purchase here, such as:

  • ECOEGG, the award winning UK brand for your laundry and home.
  • BIOFFICINA from Tuscany, for the face and body.
  • WaWa Cosmetics, from Romania for problematic skin types and conditions.
  • DYLN bottle from the USA, for alkalizing your water to PH9.
  • AROGAIA herbs & MELEFSIS Honey from Greece.
  • PACARI chocolate from Ecuador.
  • ZACCAGNI Pasta from Italy.
  • ORGANICUP from Denmark.

Soon to arrive we will also have an organic sun block called Sunumbra for the whole family sourced from South Africa and African Apothecary, which is from Zimbabwe, offering a range of handmade cosmetics.

How do you shortlist the brands that you want to sell?

Some brands we actively seek out and some brands literally find their way to us but in both instances, a fair amount of careful research is required plus months of sampling. We then look at pricing and finally we make a decision as to whether the product would be of benefit to the local market.

And how important is healthy living to you and your family?

Extremely important. In fact I would say that it is my number one priority. I feel it is my duty to educate myself as much as possible and to give my family the cleanest food and products available.

Would you say that the request for organic products has increased in Malta in the last 5 years?

I would say so, yes. I think people are generally becoming more aware of how we are exposed to various chemicals and toxins  in our daily lives and how this, in turn, can affect our health. It seems to me that we are slowly trying to make changes and we hope that Just Organic can help with this process.

If you were stuck on a desert island and were allowed only 5 products from your shop what would they be and why?

Haha, now that’s an interesting question … only 5? hmm let’s see …

Well without a doubt I would have to take Organicup so that I wouldn’t have to worry about ‘that time of the month’ and running out of supplies.

My DYLN bottle goes everywhere with me, so I definitely can’t leave it behind. (Can’t live without my fix of alkaline and ionised water)

I’m also a confessed chocaholic and thankfully brands like Pacari Chocolate are now making chocolate that is actually good for you. So can I take 3 varieties of this with me please?

I’ll grab some Melefsis Thyme Honey too – it can act as my natural antiseptic whilst satisfying my sweet tooth at the same time. I’ll just have to carefully ration my intake … how long will I be stuck there for???

And last but not least my life saving WaWa Anti Wrinkle and Lift serum. If I’m going to be stuck outdoors for a while at least I can try and counter the signs of ageing as best as I can!

What are your plans for the shop going forward?

At Just Organic our aim is primarily to raise awareness on how to lead healthier lives. We’d like to help people reduce the amount of toxins around them by making informed choices when purchasing day to day items. Even if consumers make one or two changes here and there. We really believe that any change, no matter how small, will have a positive effect.

Our plans are to continue sourcing different products and maybe, if all goes well, we hope to open another outlet in the future as well.

How do we find you?

We are located at 8 Main Street in Naxxar, which is in a side road to the main church. Literally, just one minute walk from the main square. We’d love for you to come and check us out. We are open Monday to Friday from 11am to 7pm and also on Saturday from 10am to 1pm.

If you’d like to shop online, we cater for that too here.

Thank you Sara!

If you live in Naxxar, are driving past or simply need some more organic goodness in your life, why not drop in to Just Organic? Until you do, you can keep up by following them on Facebook or Instagram for more information about what’s hot on the “JO” shelves!

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