Last week I wrote a blog post
about a fabulous new initiative in Slaithwaite, Yorkshire called Green Valley Grocer
Today I visited and met with Graham, one of the main players behind the project.
As I stepped out of the car I was guided to the community run grocer by the alluring aroma of the Handmade Bakery which only days before had set up in the back of the store. Stepping into the store I felt as though I had gone back to a time when life was simpler and people were sweeter. When I announced that I was here to meet with Graham, the shopkeeper pointed to the man filling the ice tray in preparation for the fresh fish to be displayed.
Graham greeted me warmly and proceeded to walk me around the store while telling the story of how the project came to be. Naturally the part that interested me the most was the local veg stand on the foot path.
In my opinion, this grocery store is an inspiration and a model for communities from all around the world to begin to reclaim our food system. By taking back the retail space, we can slowly begin to influence the full supply chain. It's a big ask, but we have to start somewhere don't we?
The great thing about how Graham and the team have pulled this initiative together is that they have utilised the power of the co-op at a true community level. With quite a straightforward process, they were able to coordinate the people and the funds to get the ball rolling in a matter of a few short weeks. It doesn't take a lot of work so much as it takes the right sort of work which allows progress to be made quite rapidly.
On my return to NZ, I plan to have a chat with our local Co-op man, Ramsey, to look at ways we can apply this great model to local Ooooby initiatives.