Hackney food assembly to change how residents shop

Massimo, left, and Remi, are launching the Food Assembly every Tuesday at the 90 Bar in Hackney Wick.

Massimo, left, and Remi, are launching the Food Assembly every Tuesday at the 90 Bar in Hackney Wick. - Credit: Archant

More than 500 people flocked to the launch of a market that aims to revolutionise how Hackney residents buy groceries.

Shoppers could talk to the local producers of meat, fish and vegetables and learn about the stock while experiencing live music and art exhibitions.

The Food Assembly introduced event at Number 90, in Wallis Road, Hackney Wick with the taster session on July 15, to continue every Tuesday.

Remi Landaz of Number 90 said: “The model that the Food Assembly has is pretty neat in terms of people actually helping each other and the great thing is that producers are getting more money for the food they are working so hard to grow.”

He added: “Within the building we work with local artists and musicians so it makes sense for us to have local producers.

“The fact is the project is just great. It brings people together and is very cool and very topical with food produce coming from anywhere now.”

The Food Assembly started in France, where there are now hundreds of markets, to support producers and farmers within the community.

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Shoppers can browse goods online, order in advance and come collect them in a pleasant local environment with music, food and friends.

Producers can tailor the order and speak directly to customers, saving time and money.

Massimo Zeppetelli of the Food Assembly said: “There is a high demand for local produce but the options to buy it are limited to shops which involve a middle person and makes it even more expensive.

“People are interested in where their food comes from and this way people can connect the urban and the rural - we can bring the rural into London.”

The company only works with producers located within a 150 mile radius of the market.

Producers include Better Health Bakery in Haggerston which supports people recovering from mental health problems by offering them work placements, as well as Dalston Cola and local farmers.

The Food Assembly plans to expand their offerings to locally sourced, ethical cosmetics.

Massimo said: “The reason I chose Hackney Wick is that there aren’t many places to buy food here. There are also four different communities, the boating community, the artists, the increasing private housing community and the council housing community. “We are really working around that and engaging with the local area. At Number 90 their focus is local too.”

Remi said: “For Number 90 the idea is great, it brings people into our place and we are process of setting a little grub club where our chef will cook special dishes every Tuesday using produce from the market.”

The market is the first of its kind in the UK but there are plans to open another in Hackney Downs and more nationwide. People can buy their produce now at thefoodassembly.com and collect it every Tuesday.