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Secret Sauce

This booklet is designed to share the story of ethical business The People’s Supermarket, as well as the lessons the founders have learned so far.

This booklet is designed to share the story of ethical business The People’s Supermarket, as well as the lessons the founders have learned so far.

Key findings:

  • The People’s Supermarket is a cooperative, for-profit convenience store with a strong ethical mission.
  • A venture unique in ambition and structure, those involved in its founding and subsequent development have learnt a lot from their journey so far.
  • Their recommendations for those looking to do something similar include: finding a group of driven, committed people with diverse skills; finding determined business partners; remembering it is a business first, ‘project’ second; fostering a sense of mutual trust; allowing people to participate on their own terms; and maintaining solvency. 

It is two years since The People's Supermarket, a convenience store with a difference, opened its doors on Lamb's Conduit Street, London. From a vision to do something new and make a difference, the supermarket now serves an average of 6,000 customers a week, has grown a worldwide community of over 15,000 people, trained over twenty-five people who were previously unemployed, and serves over 700 take-away meals a week.

 

Produced with support from Nesta, the 'Secret Sauce' booklet shares what the People's Supermarket have learned so far, and offers advice to those who, fed up with mainstream, conventional forms of grocery shopping, or who want to grow a community organisation around a retail outlet from a standing start, need to consider.

 

It answers questions like: 'How does The People's Supermarket operate?' '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?

 

Author
The People's Supermarket