I sat down for a chat with one of our Food Hero’s – Eloise Leary, owner of The Source Bulk Food Store in Prahran & Malvern. Darren and I are longtime fans of our local in Prahran and see it as an extension of our Studio Kitchen pantry. A store where we can always rely on finding exactly what we need, offering unparalleled freshness and quality ingredients in precise quantities and eco-friendly packaging. We love supporting local businesses especially while helping the  planet! Cath x

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals found themselves reassessing their lives and seeking new directions. Eloise Leary, with her extensive background in the food industry, embarked on a journey fuelled by her passion for real, wholesome food and a desire to make a difference.

With a degree in food technology and years of experience working for prominent food manufacturers such as Bonlac Cheese, Bega, and Uncle Tobys, Eloise faced numerous challenges, especially as a woman in a traditionally male-dominated field. However, her love for genuine, unprocessed food never wavered. She saw firsthand how the food manufacturing industry often prioritised cost and additives over quality and nutrition, which fuelled her determination to advocate for healthier alternatives.

Eloise’s journey took a significant turn when she decided to pursue a diploma in personal training, further deepening her understanding of the importance of health and wellness. But her most significant role is that of a devoted mother to her teenage boys, whom she describes as her “entire universe.” Influenced by her late mother’s dedication to sustainability and green living, Eloise was inspired to merge her passion for real food with her commitment to environmental stewardship.

Originally hailing from Victoria, Eloise and her family resided in QLD for over a decade. The opportunity to acquire a franchise of The Source Bulk Foods, a national business specialising in sustainability, and clean, whole foods, in Melbourne felt like a serendipitous alignment of her values and aspirations. Ironically, just as others were fleeing the state’s stringent lockdown measures, Eloise relocated her family to Melbourne to bring her vision to life.

Since assuming ownership of the Malvern store in December 2021 and shortly after the Prahran store, Eloise has implemented stringent quality assurance practices to ensure the safety and satisfaction of her customers. As a mother of a son with anaphylaxis, she understands the critical importance of providing safe, uncontaminated food.

Each Source store, whether in Prahran or Malvern, caters to a unique clientele, but both reflect Eloise’s commitment to providing beautiful, fresh ingredients sourced as locally as possible. The Commercial Road precinct of Prahran offers locals one of the finest fresh food shopping experiences in Melbourne. This store, being the first The Source Bulk Foods in Victoria and situated directly opposite the Prahran market entrance, simplifies the process of picking up all pantry needs in one trip. With an enthusiastic following of foodies who prefer to purchase produce without wasteful packaging, this shop has garnered significant popularity.

The roomy store boasts over 380 products, including local honey, kombucha on tap, nuts, seeds, grains, personal and household cleaning products, and much more. Reducing environmental impact is a key objective, with efforts focused on minimising the use of plastic and other wasteful packaging.

To aid customers in reducing waste, Eloise encourages them to bring their own containers for filling with any product. Additionally, customers can minimise food waste by purchasing only the amount needed for a particular recipe, thereby avoiding leftover packets going stale at the back of the pantry. Eloise not only ensures the freshness of her products but also minimises waste—a value deeply ingrained in her family’s ethos.

Beyond her professional endeavours, Eloise and her family actively contribute to environmental conservation efforts by embracing a plastic-free lifestyle. Their collective actions reflect Eloise’s belief in the power of individual efforts to effect positive change on a broader scale. Wellness remains the focus of her cooking style, nurturing her and her family’s bodies.

Eloise’s commitment to continuous improvement is evident in her pursuit of a nutrition qualification while managing two retail stores, enabling her to offer genuine advice to her customers. She is genuinely interested in helping people understand the benefits of nutrition.

In a world often driven by convenience and mass production, Eloise Leary stands as a beacon of authenticity and dedication to real food and sustainable living. Through The Source, she not only provides nourishment for the body but also feeds the soul with her unwavering commitment to health, wellness, and environmental responsibility.

The Source Bulk Foods Prahran – 176/180 Commercial Rd, Prahran, VIC 3181
The Source Bulk Foods Malvern – 200 Glenferrie Rd, Malvern, VIC, 3144