The People’s Supermarket considers Hackney site for expansion
An unusual supermarket offering an alternative to multinationals is considering setting up shop in Hackney – and they want to know whether they have the backing of local residents.
The People’s Supermarket (TPS) was featured in a Channel 4 documentary earlier this year, when celebrity chef Arthur Potts Dawson – who set up Shoreditch’s organic restaurant the Waterhouse in 2008 – helped establish the social enterprise in Bloomsbury.
The member-owned co-operative is mainly staffed by 1,200 member volunteers and it prides itself on stocking local and responsibly sourced food.
TPS is now considering three Homerton sites for a second store, and a seven week-consultation commissioned by the council is underway.
“Homerton was an interesting area because it’s a part of Hackney that’s not necessarily thriving from its new trendy environment, and it has a strong social need for employment,” said project co-ordinator Jessica Green from Leytonstone, who began working at the Bloomsbury shop after watching the Channel 4 programme.
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“We have a brand that people seek, out so we would increase the footfall to the area, and would collaborate with other businesses that would be our neighbours by ensuring we aren’t coming in and competing with them on what they sell.”
Jessica believes it is important to find an alternative to the current consumer culture.
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“We have a growing issue of food supply and the large corporate supermarkets aren’t doing anything to support the food producers, in fact they are going bankrupt because they are being forced to sell their produce for such a low amount.
“We started to respect their margins, and by having volunteers we lower our overheads, which allow us to compete on price.”
Tomorrow morning, Wednesday September 7, at 11am there will be a guided tour of TPS in Lamb’s Conduit Street, so people can see firsthand how the shop works.
On Thursday September 8 at 6.30pm there will be a meeting to explain the consultation process and TPS values at Hackney City Farm in Hackney Road.
On Tuesday September 13 from 10am to 8pm there will be a drop in at Homerton Library in Homerton High Street.
There will also be a stall at Chatsworth Road Market on Sundays until October 9.
To view the online consultation go to http://hackney.thepeoplessupermarket.org/