How to start a co-op shop

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The People’s Supermarket, a newish co-op supermarket on Lamb’s Conduit St, has just published Secret Sauce, the story of how it got going, with advice for other wannabe co-op start-ups.

The guide covers areas such as:

How can you find and secure the right premises?

How do you finance yourself at start-up?

How do you attract members, stock the shop, organise an effective product offer and keep the momentum going?

Part of the aim of the People’s Supermarket was to build a membership and client base that truly reflected the make-up of the local area, that delivered commercial success with social value. The report talks about how they grew and engaged their membership, structured their business and developed their offer. It has been published by NESTA and is available online for free here.

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3 Responses to How to start a co-op shop

  1. there have also been a number of other excellent guides published over the last few years on opening/starting up a co-op food shop:

    the award winning Unicorn Grocery published their own guide based on their own business’ experiences – http://www.unicorn-grocery.co.uk/grow-a-grocery.php

    and the Making Local Food Work programme (hosted by the Plunkett Foundation) produced –
    ‘how to set up a food coop’ – http://www.makinglocalfoodwork.co.uk/templates/asset-relay.cfm?frmAssetFileID=1070
    ‘opening a local food shop’ – http://www.makinglocalfoodwork.co.uk/templates/asset-relay.cfm?frmAssetFileID=246

    and any groups wanting to start a co-op enterprise of any type can also apply for (free) support from the national co-operative enterprise hub programme – http://www.co-operative.coop/enterprisehub/

    • Hannah Jameson says:

      Thanks Adrian. If anyone else has any other food co-op information or advice – please please add it here!

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