Gramiyam in Ashok Nagar offers organic grains, vegetables, oil and snacks, with plans for a restaurant
You don’t need us to tell you that eating right is one half of staying healthy. And that’s precisely what Thamothara Kannan Natarajan, who deals in surgical equipments, has in mind with his first organic venture in Chennai. Launched last December, his 200 sq ft store in Ashok Nagar, Gramiyam, sells grains (rice, millets, pulses), oil and spices and also stocks vegetables sourced from places like Madurai and Udumalpet. “We have two organic farms in Tirunelveli and Arani from where we source brinjal, ladies finger, coconuts, mangoes and tomatoes,” Natarajan, 27, shares. “These we get from Valliyur,” he says, pointing to a heap of bananas on a stand. A quick scan of the store reveals millet sweets, country jaggery, honey and native cows ghee, plus snacks by Terra Earth Food. “Besides Terra, other organisations like Earth 360, an organic group in Chennai, sells its processed millets to us,” Natarajan adds.
We also find jute bags, earthenware and wall-hangings adorning the store. “Groups like Nalla Keerai and Aruvadai are active advocates of organic farming,” he says. “And with organic farms in places like Kalpakkam and Chen-galpet, there is never any dearth of organic produce,” he assures. Apart from shops like Dhanyam in T Nagar and Organic Shandy in Mylapore, that are popular choices among organic shoppers, there are artisans and weavers from organisations like Porgai in Dharmapuri who also provide options like organic kurtis (available at Gramiyam too). With plans to open an organic restaurant in the near future, Natarajan says he has observed a steady rise in the number of customers at Gramiyam — a sign that awareness is increasing.
Vegetables from Rs. 48 per kilo and sweets from `280 per kilo. Details: 9790905559
— Karan Pillai