Though many of us wish to eat in a more healthful manner, there is always a host of reasons why it’s too difficult to do so. Farmers’ markets are only open on weekends, while one-stop superstores carry the gamut of processed and sugary treats, and it’s simply more convenient to stock up on food items with expiry dates set well into the next year. Unlike gyms and fitness studios that have cropped up all over the city, it is still rather rare to find specialty food stores that cater to those in search of more natural and organic choices. Which was precisely the impetus behind Real Food, a health food store with a wide range of wholesome food and drink products.
Located at the Molito Lifestyle Mall in Alabang, Real Food is the brainchild of Nicole Fandiño, who found that preparing healthy meals for her family was something she had to go out of her way to achieve. “I would get up early to go to the Saturday Market in Alabang, I ordered my vegetables online, and I was constantly coordinating with different suppliers for organic chicken or eggs for their deliveries. I kept saying that it would be so much more convenient if someone would just put up a store where we could find everything under one roof. I just didn’t think that someone would be me.”
Together with similarly health-conscious friends, Bea Lhuillier, Honey Almendral, and Katrina Mañosa, Nicole took the risk of turning the idea behind Real Food into a brick and mortar reality. The result is a delightful modern-day green grocer, where everything—from artisanal sausages to ice cream—is fresh, natural, and preservative-free. Quite like the farm-to-table concept, what is in stock is true to what is in season. And food and drink items are 90 percent local, sourced from personally chosen vendors who are equally passionate, if not even more so, about growing and producing healthier food alternatives.
Real Food co-owners (clockwise from top left) Bea Lhuillier, Honey Almendral, Katrina Mañosa, and Nicole Fandiño
Shelves are stocked with everything from freshly baked gluten-free breads, to pasta sauces, heirloom vegetables and fruits such as purple corn, rambutan, and santol, organic rice, and organic chicken and eggs, making it easy for shoppers to come in and gather enough fresh ingredients to create nourishing and delicious meals for their families. Mothers can allow their children to pick out their own snacks of crunchy granola, root crop chips, gluten-free cookies and chocolates, and the staff is more than ready to assist in explaining the benefits of Real Food’s selection. And most importantly, everyone from those on strict gluten-free diets to the regular curious shopper can relish the Real Food experience, where they can see, touch, smell, and in some cases, even taste what’s in store— allowing them to enjoy the tangible process of making healthier eating a lifestyle choice.
Molito Lifestyle Mall, Alabang, 772.0131.