With the help of Indie Cambridge - the community of ‘real’ Cambridge - Cambridge Network resumes its exploration of the best independent businesses, people, shops, cafés, restaurants, venues and events in Cambridge and the surrounding area. This week: Al Amin.
Explore Indie Cambridge - Al Amin
A classic case of looks can be deceiving: Al Amin may look from the outside like an ordinary grocers, but once inside, this deceptively large shop opens up to reveal a wealth of foods from around the world.
Salsas from Mexico, jerk seasoning from Jamaica, pumpernickel breads from Germany, halva from Greece sit on shelves next to pomegranate molasses from Iran (great as a salad dressing), Harissa paste from Algeria, De Cecco pasta from Italy and much, much more. There's a wonderfully exotic range of fresh produce too - fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices all displaying country of origin (an education in itself). As well as traditional varieties, you can pick up mangoes, fresh dates, guava, paw paw, granadilla, yams, okra, eddoe, matoke and apple bananas as well as fresh ginger and many different types of chillies.
Explore further in to the store and discover the Halal butchers and the aptly named 'Spice and Rice Den' - a room literally packed to the roof with every variety of rice and dried spice you could ever need in your kitchen. If you fancy something more convenient, there's the newly opened 'falafel centre' - selling freshly-made wraps and baguettes to takeaway and the deli selling freshly-made Indian and Thai dishes including curries, bhaji and seriously good samosa. Everything is made in-house and with no preservatives.
As well as this culinary expedition around the world, it's equally important to owner Abdul Arain to use as many local suppliers as possible. As part of its extensive range of 'free from' foodstuffs, Al Amin stocks delicious Booja-Booja dairy free ice cream from Norfolk and Ombar organic vegan chocolate from right here in Cambridge.
With all this and the incredibly helpful and knowledgeable staff (you can even pay bills here and do 'click and collect'), it's easy to see why Al Amin is at the very heart of the Mill Road community.
100a-102a, Mill Road
Tel: 01223 576396
Run by long-term residents with a true passion for Cambridge and the independent scene, Indie Cambridge is the only organisation and website dedicated solely to supporting and promoting indie businesses in the city – and beyond. Their site features hundreds of traders and tradespeople, artists and makers, producers, venues and events – all of which play a part in the real life of the city and local area. Packed with valuable insider knowledge, it also features a list of indie businesses offering online shopping, click and collect and local delivery.
Read the latest issue of The Indie magazine or click here for places where you can pick up a free copy. Alternatively, have it delivered direct to your door by joining IndieClub - just £12 for three issues a year, then sit back, relax and enjoy a most civilised read.
A celebration of the city’s best independent traders, venues and events