The Good Market has been a general favourite since its initiation at Diyatha Uyana in 2012. By bringing together local vendors from far corners of the island, it quickly became popular because of the fresh and organic produce on display and the vibrant atmosphere surrounding it. Now the Good Market can be found every Saturday at the Nuga Tree car park behind the Ministry of Sports, and it continues to draw large numbers of customers who are conscious about consuming healthy and organic fresh produce. With the opening of the Good Market shop, customers don’t even have to wait till Saturday anymore to get their fresh and organic food but can purchase it every day from the shop, located on Lakpahana premises, opposite the race course grounds.
The Meatless Monday Sri Lanka team paid a visit to the Good Market shop at lunchtime to check out the produce and the community deli. The café at the back of the shop was operated by a single vendor in the past but has now been transitioned into a community deli where a wide range of vendors sell their healthy and affordable foods and drinks.
Range of Goods
The shop is stocked with shelves full of completely organic products, which is guaranteed by their extensive screening.
One main feature of the Good Market shop is that it offers the vegan alternatives to dairy from the good market vendors all week long. You can get your supply of vegan cashew cheese, vegan coconut yogurt, soy milk, almond milk and cashew milk without having to wait for Saturday.
Besides dairy products, you can find dried fruit chips such as watermelon, mango and pineapple, as well as a wide range of organic nuts or fruit spreads such as marmalades, jams and all-natural peanut butter.
There is a range of organic fruits and vegetables and free-range eggs that are brought in fresh every day from various farms around the country. You find organic flours (kurakkan, rice, coconut, gram, buckwheat, atta) and organic seeds and grains (pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, basil seeds, quinoa, oats), as well as baking products and natural sweeteners. The shop also sells a variety of organic spices and herbs, home, pet and garden care products, and personal care products made from all-natural ingredients.
Food and Drinks
In the back of the shop you can find the small kitchen counter from where the community deli is operated. It hosts different vendors each day of the week and as a result offers a wide range of food and drinks. Listed below are some of the options available in the deli.
- Breakfast and lunch options from Jeewas (rice and curry, string hoppers, manioc and kiribath)
- Quiches, tarts and baked goods from the Milk and Honey Café
- Organic soup from Ma’s Kitchen
- A variety of hoppers from Gami Gedara
- Vegan brownies and vegan ice creams from Smokey’s
- Fruit popsicles from Fruitful Popsicles
- Medicinal juices, energy drinks, smoothies and fresh juices from Gami Gedara
- Local coffee and tea from Hansa and Organic Life
Since one of the driving initiatives of the Good Market is to promote healthy living, the Meatless Monday Sri Lanka team decided to honour that idea and ordered a few items of the menu that sounded healthy.
For drinks we ordered the Karapincha juice (Rs.260), the Healthy Up energy drink (Rs. 350) and the Passion and Banana smoothie (Rs.350) from Gami Gedara. To keep true to the Meatless Monday message we asked the milk for the smoothie to be substituted with king coconut water which is offered as a dairy-free option.
The Karapincha juice is a blend of karapincha, narang and king coconut water. Despite there being no sugar added to the juice, the narang and king coconut water gave it a pleasant sweet taste that matched well with the karapincha in the juice. If you are looking for a healthy refresher after a hot day in the sun, this is a definite must try.
The Healthy Up drink can be found under the energy drink section of Gemi gedara. It is a blend of soursop, banana, wel penela, spinach, gotukola, narang and king coconut water. Because of the soursop and banana combination, the juice was thick in consistency but definitely sweeter than the Karapincha juice.
(Right: Karapincha juice; Left: Healthy Up energy drink)
The Passion and Banana smoothie comprised passion fruit, banana and coconut water blended together. This was a refreshing drink that was sweet and a bit sour at the same time. The occasional crunch of the blended passion fruit seeds gave it a nice texture and tartness that cut well with the sweetness of the banana.
(Pineapple and banana smoothie)
All three drinks were rich in consistency and very filling as a result. If you want to enjoy a refreshing and healthy drink, these are recommended choices by us.
For lunch we ordered the vegetarian rice and curry from Jeewas (Rs.350). The basmati rice was served in a banana leaf with amberella curry, drumstick curry (murunga), mukunuwenna sambol, seeni sambol (deep fried onions) and pol sambol (spiced coconut sambol). The curries were well seasoned with nicely balanced spices. It was a hearty lunch free of any animal-based products: so if you are on the lookout for a vegan meal, the vegetarian rice and curry from Jeewas is a good option.
There were a variety of hoppers available from Gemi Gedara and we were curious to try out the karapincha hopper (curry leaf) (Rs. 100). The hopper was served hot and straight off the pan. It was delicious and well-seasoned with the right amount of coconut milk and a subtle flavour of karapincha coming through. Hoppers from Gami Gedara are usually served with a katta sambol, which for some reason we did not get.
For dessert, we ordered two fruit popsicles from Fruitful Popsicles and the vegan chocolate ice cream (Rs. 200 per scoop) from Smokey’s. The vegan ice cream was rich in chocolate and had a subtle flavour of coconut milk. The vegan ice cream melts really fast so better consume it as soon as it is out of the fridge. The popsicles are called Mingo Mango and Passion Love and both priced at Rs. 200. The mango and passion flavours came through in both popsicles and made them a refreshing end to a hot day.
Mingo Mango Passion Love
The Good Market shop is the go-to place if you need organic and natural fresh produce and products under one roof. The products are roughly within the range of Rs.200 to Rs.1000, since they are locally manufactured.
The shop has a zero waste policy so you won’t find any plastic straws and cutlery or any single-use packaging here. Instead of plastics, they have stainless steel straws, wooden cutlery and compostable takeaway containers.