Thursday, 17 July 2014

A Co-op in My Community

When wandering around the US, I was introduced to the concept of Co-op supermarkets. They sell locally sourced and organic produce, and are usually ran by the people who shop in it. They are filled to the brim with unusual products, which are good for you, usually unprocessed and almost always delicious. It's not a huge chain, it's just that people in specific places get together and decide that they want a Co-op supermarket, and then the members pay a fee to get a reduced price on the food. They also work in the shop as a volunteer for a couple of hours a week too, which I find really cute. Saves paying for workers and the money can go back into the store!

When I came back to the UK I was intrigued as to whether this was a thing here. And then all of a sudden I realised that of course it was - we have the Co-Operative! The Co-Operative here were once locally owned little shops of a multitude of trades, but is now a national organisation, still owned by it's members but is a little more corporate. I hadn't ever thought that it was once anything else besides that huge building in Manchester, but of course a rich history of business in the UK must have leaned on initiatives like community shares! This is like a TransAtlantic history lesson!

So when my Dad informs me that a little co-op shop had just been opened where we used to live, my mum and I hopped into the car and rushed over for a little peek.

Here it is, in the Prestwich precinct where I once knew there to be a Blockbuster video.

Freshly made bread is available and looks scrummy!

Of course there is fruit and veg here. Well displayed and good variety.

I like a shop with a sense of humour too. Just a little bit :)

They have lots of interesting products, so you really can spend a little bit of time here.

And all helped by lovely staff - a nice friendly atmosphere.

It's still early days for the Village Greens Community Co-op. Some of the shelves haven't been filled yet, and produce placement doesn't necessarily make sense at the moment. But it's only been open for a few days, so there's much learning and much growing to do. I'm excited to have found it in these early stages, and I'm excited to watch them blossom into something amazing. I'm so pleased to have a local community co-op shop! Hoorah! :)

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