“It’s NOT about money, it’s about nutrition.” Nils El Accad
I was lucky enough to attend the official opening of the new Organic Foods and Café (OF&C) store last week, located in the new and very swanky Nation Towers Galleria on the Corniche here in Abu Dhabi.
The new store located in Nation Towers Galleria (source:www.organicfoodsandcafe.com)
The proceedings began when Organic Foods and Café founder Nils El Accad arrived with dignitaries H.E. Sheikh Mohamed bin Nahyan Al Nahyan and His Excellency Jean-Paul Tarud, the Chilean Ambassador. Company COO Jan delivered a concise introduction and screened a short animated film highlighting the company’s organic vision and ethos before the ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the store’s official opening.
Nils El Accad with H.E. Sheikh Mohamed bin Nahyan Al Nahyan and His Excellency Jean-Paul Tarud, the Chilean Ambassador (source:www.organicfoodsandcafe.com)
A long time popular store in Dubai, with a very small outlet here in the capital’s environmental friendly city Masdar City, Organic Foods and Café has brought a much larger store to the capital, a welcome addition to the growing and very popular organic scene. The concept, a family run organic supermarket and café, has fresh organic and biodynamic produce (grown in harmony with nature), supplements, a bakery, butchery, deli, gluten-free section, skincare, cosmetics, household cleaning products, baby items and so much more, literally everything to satisfy the most healthy and eco conscious shopper all under one roof.
The large well-lit store has a considerable sized refrigerated fruit and vegetable section as you enter with an extensive range of fresh and colourful produce. As you walk around the store you encounter a gluten-free section, a deli with fresh dishes prepared daily from the freshest and most seasonal ingredients to take-away, a well stocked butchery and bakery as well as a plentiful supply of everyday grocery and cupboard stock items.
Organic Foods and Café currently retails over 10,000 hormone and chemical free products sourced directly from family run farms throughout the world. The company does not buy from the open market or from traders, just from a selection of handpicked farmers who are personally visited regularly and everyone shares the same ethos and family values. The company sells organic foods that are grown without chemical fertilisers, pesticides, herbicides or fungicides and there are no hormones, growth promoters, antibiotics, chemical preservatives and dyes, chemical coatings or irradiation and absolutely no genetic engineering.
Check out the in-store butchers for a range of organic meat products (source:http://www.organicfoodsandcafe.com)
There is a wide range of beauty and skincare products, supplements and books as well as seeds, grains and the popular coconut oil based products which are in high demand these days. Alongside the Gluten and wheat Free section, Organic Foods and Café also caters for other food sensitivities such as Lactose and Dairy intolerances, Vegan and Vegetarian diets as well as for those on a Raw diet. Every Tuesday fresh Gluten Free bread is baked and sold in the bakery section. All the organic grains used in store are free from Gmos, irradiation, synthetic fertilisers and pesticides.
The back of the store is dedicated to a café that has great views out across the Corniche and Arabian Gulf from its full height floor-to-ceiling windows. The café offers breakfast, a substantial range of daily specials made using available seasonal produce as well as a full à la carte menu. There is also a takeaway cold section and gluten-free and dairy free options are available upon request.
The spacious café offers a versatile menu and has fantastic views out across the Corniche (source:www.organicfoodsandcafe.com)
Organic Foods and Café is the brainchild of German national Nils El Accad, who has been resident in the UAE since the 70’s and was introduced to organic food nearly thirty years ago as a teenager by his mother who was a cancer sufferer. After her diagnosis she learnt and subsequently taught him about the importance of wholegrain and unprocessed organic foods and he himself turned to alternative medicine when he fell unexplainably ill later in his own life and many doctors were unable to help him.
El Accad chats to his distinguished guests at the opening (source:www.organicfoodsandcafe.com)
Consultations with a homeopath discovered what doctors and specialists were unable to identify, that El Accad was being poisoned by the food that he ate by being exposed to a wide range of preservatives, hormones and other artificial food additives that were blocking up his lymphatic system and this caused him to rethink and radically change his diet.
El Accad’s food journey to source organic produce proved fruitless (no pun intended) in this region as did his attempt to educate people about healthy food. He discovered that there were no reliable organic suppliers in the UAE at that time and only limited resources were available to educate and raise awareness for those who were trying to source organic food. In his attempts to change the food industry and his fight for companies to stop using preservatives he came across many barriers and much resistance.
He discovered that the food industry was not interested in nutrition and the existence and removal of preservatives in food but solely about making money so approximately ten years ago he decided to make a difference and opened the first Organic Foods and Café, with the sole purpose of providing “healthy nutritious food the way it was meant to be”. Today, he owns the largest organic supply and retail company in the UAE with three shops in Dubai, two in Abu Dhabi, one in Bahrain and the next one due to open soon in Qatar.
We were treated to a range of delicious organic snacks and drinks in the café area.
I am very excited by this new store as it’s the closest thing we have to the wonderful Wholefoods back in the UK and if you are a regular reader you know how I love Wholefoods! On the way out of the store, I grabbed a couple of packets of Chia Seeds for our Green Smoothies, so that’s blogging research, photography and grocery shopping all at once, now that’s what I call multitasking. Thank you for having me Organic Foods and Café and for the lovely goodie bag full of natural and organic beauty and skincare products, which the family and I are enjoying road testing.
To see more photos from the official opening click here
Find out more information about Organic Foods & Café by visiting their website www.organicfoodsandcafe.com and visit their Facebook page by clicking here. The shop has regular promotions and offers, click here for more details
The capitals new Organic Foods and Café is located in Nation Towers Galleria, Abu Dhabi
Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2014. All rights reserved.