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12 Mill Road, Arjuna Wholefoods

History of 12 Mill Road

Arjuna Wholefoods has occupied 12 Mill Road since 1970. A new book, Wholefood Heroes, has been written by David Jarvis about the history of the shop. This is the text from the back cover.

For over 40 years, Arjuna Wholefoods has been a radical presence on Mill Road and many regard it as a Cambridge institution.

Against the odds, and always against the grain, Arjuna has come through countless struggles, and achieved a longevity that has delighted its customers and surprised its founders. Arjuna was set up by a Cambridge University student but has always been more town than gown, an independent shop not a chain store.

This book tells the story of Arjuna’s unique journey, through the voices of its workers and customers – people who want to do positive things, in harmony with a clear set of principles about how we produce food and how we work together.

Illuminated with workers’ testimonies and meeting minutes, Wholefood Heroes also reflects changing times – from the communes of the 1970s, CND protests and the miners’ strike of the 1980s, to environmentalism, supermarket dominance and local food movements of the 1990s and 2000s.

Wholefood Heroes is the story of a workers’ co-operative, and how different – and difficult working in a co-operative can be. It is also about community, and the relationship between a small wholefood shop, the independent Mill Road culture, and the people who live in its neighbourhood.

Wholefood Heroes

Wholefood Heroes, front and back cover, courtesy of Dave Jarvis.

Also available is the Arjuna Cookbook, combining recipes from the two books released in the later 1970s and early 1980s.

Arjuna Cookbook, front and back cover, courtesy of Dave Jarvis.

Both books are available to buy from the shop.

ARC Knitting Company

Back in 1900 12 Mill Road was the ARC Knitting Company, shown below.

ARC Knitting Co., 1907.

ARC Knitting Co., 1907. Courtesy of the Cambridgeshire Collection, B.Mill.K0.32294.



Danish Bacon and Butter Company


Arthur Bayles, 41, manager to brick company, b Suffolk

1913 A R C Knitting Co.

A R Crossman, manager
J De Bondt, surgical and mechanical dentistry


Sarah Childs, gowns
Edward V Waits




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