Farmers’ markets are gaining traction in Singapore. More often than not however, they happen as isolated and sporadic pop-ups, which can make it hard to consistently get the artisanal produce that you love. Enter Sproutfore – Singapore’s first online farmers’ market that brings together the best produce and products from around Singapore and Malaysia. More than 50 merchants are currently listed on Sproutfore’s website, offering a wide range of goods such as household products like environmentally-friendly cleaning solutions; lifestyle products like beautiful hand-woven bags and baskets from Ghana; poultry; beverages; fresh organic fruits and vegetables, and farm-fresh eggs.
In fact, freshness is the cornerstone of Sproutfore’s approach. Produce such as vegetables are harvested on the day of delivery (or as close to the delivery date as possible if the produce is from Malaysia), and even loafs of bread are baked to order such that customers can always be guaranteed of having the freshest food products delivered right to their doorstep, an option that’s not always available with other supermarkets. What’s more, many of the products available on Sproutfore are hard to find in other online supermarkets – founder Kenneth Tan often goes around Singapore to scout for specialty merchants to bring consumers the best and most innovative products.
Sproutfore also celebrates a sense of transparency surrounding the merchants that they list. Sproutfore’s website has a dedicated “Merchants” tab listing producers’ contact information for customers to reach out to the producers, or even pay a visit to their farms! That way, consumers are able to know who and where their products come from. As Kenneth quips, “We hope that in the push for healthier lifestyles, Sproutfore can be the platform people turn to in confidence for the freshest and most natural produce”.
What to stock up on:
Sambal buah keluak and Shiitake mushroom chips
The shiitake mushroom chips ($7.50; available in a bundle of three flavours at $21) from Mushroom Kingdom strangely taste nothing like mushrooms, but more like an unsalted version of Jagabee. That’s not a problem though, since these crunchy, air-fried mushrooms only come in at 32 calories per serving (a total of 96 calories for the entire packet!) and are seasoned only very slightly (less than 1% as the packaging states), which makes it possible to feel good even after polishing off the entire packet – very doable with a jar of Provisions Food’s sambal buah keluak ($10) to dip these crunchy mushroom chips in. Slightly spicy, slightly tangy, and rounded off with that earthy buah keluak flavour, this sambal buah keluak finds its home as a chip dip or even mixed into a steaming bowl of white rice.
Organic sourdough loaf
Sproutfore carries a range of baked goods from organic bakery Bud of Joy, with everything from cookies to muffins, scones and also loaves of bread that have gluten-free and vegan options. We tried the organic sourdough loaf ($8.80) and were pleasantly surprised by how springy it was. This is the perfect sourdough loaf for those who love the tang sourdough breads have, but find it too tiresome to work through the crusty exterior of your usual sourdough loaf. The touch of honey in this loaf also adds a pleasant, subtle sweetness that balances out the bread’s tangy flavour. The bread tastes even better when toasted – its crisp exterior gives way to a soft and chewy interior.
Treat yourself every once in a while with the organic fruits and vegetables from Quan Fa Organic Farm. Not only are they good for you (being grown with no harmful fertilisers or pesticides), they also taste amazing. The vegetables tasted crisp and clean – we bit into the carrot, raw, and were surprised by its lack of a chalky mouthfeel and that overwhelmingly vegetal taste larger carrots usually have. The carrot even tasted slightly peppery. Fruits and vegetables are available individually, or as a bundle ($38) which comes with six to eight selections of fruits and vegetables, which is a great way to try out the range of produce Quan Fa Organic Farm offers, and at a slightly cheaper price.
If you are looking for a drink that’s not only tasty, refreshing, and is loaded with prebiotics and antioxidants, Asmara’s drinks are the perfect go-to. Each of their drinks is formulated with ingredients known to be beneficial in traditional medical systems such as Ayurveda, TCM, and Jamu. Asmara’s range of drinks also contain no added preservatives or flavourings. Our favourite definitely has to be the Rose and Lavender drink ($6), whose mixture of rose, plum, and ashwaganda extract are meant to help with relaxation and revitalisation, which sounds just about perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up.
You can officially bid those herb-hunting days in supermarkets farewell. While the fresh herb selections at supermarkets are often soggy (and also priced rather steeply for a small amount), Sproutfore carries several herbs (mint, oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil) that by dint of their being harvested close to the delivery date, are as fresh as can be. We tried the oregano ($2.30) from Kok Fah Technology Farm, and made a mental note never to settle for droopy overpriced herbs ever again.
Check out Sproutfore.com, or download their newly-launched iOS and Android-friendly app that makes it even easier for users to not only purchase items, but also keep updated with weekly special promotions, promotion codes, and loyalty rebates.