New Roots is something of a Sheffield institution. The not-for-profit shop on Glossop Road has been going for 27 years (making it older than most of the current staff) and is a goldmine for vegans, vegetarians or people who just like to buy organic. I recently popped in for a nosy round and enjoyed a smoothie while I chatted to Joe, one of the managers.
The original founders of New Roots passed the baton at the end of 2013 to a new team of volunteers. The team running the shop is mainly made up of students, which isn’t surprising given New Roots’ proximity to the University of Sheffield.
An attractive display of fruit outside the shop offers a clever gimmick: grab a bag, fill it with five pieces of fruit, pay £1.50 and that’s your 5-a-day taken care of (so long as the advice is still 5-a-day, of course).
There’s a counter at the front selling chilled savouries, like nut roasts and pasties, as well as cakes and flapjacks.
There’s also a wall with an impressive array of fresh fruit and veg, hitting you with a rainbow of colour when you first walk in to the shop. The team try to keep their fresh produce local whenever possible.
Around the edges of the shop, there are shelves lined with anything you might ever need to stock a healthy, organic pantry, as well as eco-friendly cleaning supplies.
At the back of the shop is a bar where you can order smoothies, juices and hot drinks.
You can also blend your own smoothie on the New Roots smoothie-bike, or have one of the New Roots team do it for you.
I went for the ‘nanaberry smoothie and sat in nearby Weston Park and soaked up the sun while sipping this fruity delight. Sadly, the smoothie bike was having an off-day, so my drink was whipped up the old fashion way (in a blender).
It’s not just about the in-store experience any more, either; New Roots now operates a fruit/veg box delivery scheme, with a weekly box of fresh produce delivered to your home by bicycle. It’s competitively priced and worth a look. You can even choose to make a £1 donation to Sheffield Food Banks with your veg box.
There’s also a room downstairs which can be hired free of charge. It holds about 20-30 people and is used for all manner of events, including talks, film screenings and band practices.
It was clear throughout my chat with Joe how passionate he and the team are about New Roots. Any money the shop makes goes towards helping asylum seekers and refugees in the local community. Boxes that goods arrive at the shop in are re-used for the veg boxes delivery scheme.
There’s a real community feel about the shop but it’s open to more: New Roots are always looking out for volunteers. As for the quality of the goods, my smoothie was delicious and I’ve bought a few different bits of fruit and veg from there which have been great. So, whether you’re just passing by or want to come check out the area (it’s well worth it, what with Upshot Espresso a few doors up, too), check out New Roots soon, especially for their local produce and homemade bits. They’re open Monday-Friday 9am-6pm and Saturdays 11am-5pm.