Meet a trader: Bec Corbett of The Source Bulk Foods Camberwell
Article posted: June 10, 2015
A wholefoods store in Camberwell is giving people an age-old shopping experience while allowing them to minimise their waste.
The Source Bulk Foods, located on Burke Rd in Camberwell, stocks a variety of bulk foods including flours, nuts, pasta, seeds as well as a selection of organic, paleo-friendly, low sugar and gluten free foods.
Co-owner Bec Corbett bought the franchise jointly with her mother and her father and opened the Camberwell store in December 2014.
At 24 years old, Ms Corbett runs the store and is a shining example of a young entrepreneur contributing to Camberwell’s vibrant retail space.
Her mother Amanda is actively involved in the business and also works at the store a couple of days a week.
The idea to open the store came to Ms Corbett when she was struggling to find work after obtaining an environmental science degree in 2012.
She had been working in an unrelated field for two years after graduating from university but was keen to get involved in something that could sustain her long-term.
That’s when she came across The Source Bulk Foods.
“We came across the franchise and thought it was an excellent opportunity,” she said.
“I love the no waste concept. Also, as a passionate cook myself, I have always used a lot of the products we sell but have previously had to travel to specialised shops to find them. We have now made them all available in one place.”
Camberwell a perfect fit
When it came to selecting a location for the store, Ms Corbett said Camberwell was identified as an ideal spot.
“There wasn’t much available in the junction in the way of wholefoods or organics… but there was already a lot of draw to the area as it is a shopping district that provides good foot traffic,” she said.
Camberwell was also seen as a perfect location for The Source Bulk Foods because it was close to public transport, freeways, shops, cafes, banks, gyms and other day-to-day facilities and services.
“Many people in this area are really health conscious and can find what they need in our store. They have previously had to travel to find these products,” Ms Corbett said.
A unique shopping experience
The Source Bulk Foods gives customers the chance to purchase food in quantities they need.
“The idea that you can come in and buy the exact quantity you need for a recipe appeals to a lot of people, because often you may not use that ingredient again before it goes off and has to be thrown out,” Ms Corbett said.
While the store offers brown paper bags to place products in, they encourage customers to bring their own bags, jars, bottles or containers to fill with the food items on sale, to promote more sustainable consumption.
“Products like sugar and rice are often bought in a plastic bag, which is then taken home and tipped into a container. The plastic bag is then redundant and put into land fill,” Ms Corbett said.
“As well as the waste from the packaging, the amount of food waste is also reduced.”
Ms Corbett said this approach to an almost old-fashioned way of selecting groceries has received a positive response from visitors to the store.
“A lot of customers have commented that they used to shop this way when they were younger, and they are so happy to see it is returning.”
Catering to people with special dietary requirements, food intolerances and allergies also forms a huge part of the store’s role.
Their extensive range of organic, low sugar, paleo, gluten free, diary free and vegan foods are highly sought after.
“We are seen as a destination for people with food sensitivities so we try to broaden our range from the usual foods to include ones suitable for those on a specific diet,” Ms Corbett said.