Infinity Foods

Hippies and liquorice sticks

By Helen Wrapson

 
Photo:Infinity Foods North Road/Gardner Street

Infinity Foods North Road/Gardner Street

Photo by Tony Mould

A regular Saturday visit

In the early 1970s, every single Saturday my Mum would take my brother and I out shopping, which always included a trip to Infinity Foods.  My Mum was, and still is, a vegetarian and would buy lentils, pearl barley, brown rice, almost every pulse you could think of. Infinity Foods was awesome. As a child I remember the great big baskets filled brimful with pulses and there was some sort of huge dresser where you could pull open a drawer that was filled with some wholesome goodness or another.

‘Hippyish’ staff

But, best of all, on the counter was a tub of liquorice sticks. These were brown or black, so a trip to Infinity Foods was complete with one of them. The staff were hippyish and really friendly. They were generally people wearing dungarees and looking rather like hippies, which, at the time, matched my parents dress sense.

Way ahead of their time

Infinity Foods was way ahead of their time, and back then, there was nowhere else to buy foods like brown rice or pearl barley which would provide the basis for our Sunday meal. I did not know any other vegetarians growing up, I was the only one. I was in the minority so that made shopping here all the more special. While my friends were all eating at the Wimpy Bar on a Saturday, my brother and I were shopping in Infinity Foods - how cool is that?

This page was added on 14/05/2013.
Comments about this page

This is a great building; early in the 20th Century it was 'Oliver Weston & Tugwell' a men's outfitters, but by 1918 it was trading as Marks & Spencer who stayed here until 1932 when they moved to 43-44 London Road (the current Superdrug, but then the fantastically named Jollyboys Dept Store!). In 1935 M&S moved to 6-8 London Road built as a new store, where they remained until closing in 1986. When they were re-decorating the exterior of this North Road building in the 1980s (it would become Sussex Fitted Kitchens), they uncovered on the ground floor 'blocks' (correctly 'rustications'), advertising signage listing various items of men's clothing from the old Weston days.

By Geoffrey Mead (15/05/2013)

One of the best things about Infinity was that it was possible to buy good food, cheap. Which was very important for me as a student in the mid 70s. Big sacks of rice and buckets of peanut butter. And that amazingly substantial bread - one slice was an entire meal!

By Marc Turner (15/05/2013)

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