Every Thursday at St Hilda’s East Community Centre, Club Row,
11:30 am to 2:30 pm
The Food Co-op offers fresh fruit and vegetables at affordable prices to the local community and beyond.
Geographically located in a ‘Food Desert’, it provides a vital option for hyper-local residents to buy organic and non-organic produce. Being open to everyone, it is a place to shop, chat, meet others and find out what else is going on at St Hilda’s East.
Who runs the Food Co-op?
The Food Co-op has always been volunteer-led; it is an enterprise where friendships are built across diverse cultural and social backgrounds and an interest in food is a common passion.
Volunteers receive valuable ‘on the job’ experience and placements. We offer free training opportunities for Food Co-op volunteers, including short courses in Food Safety Level 2, First Aid and Customer Service Skills.
Where does our food come from?
For our fresh fruit and vegetables, we have two main suppliers:
New Spitalfields Market
Supplies all our non-organic fruit & vegetables, arriving directly from the market every Thursday morning.
Supplies all our organic vegetables, delivered direct from the farm in Essex to the Food Co-op every week.
A wide range of organic vegetables are available at the Food Co-op all year round.
Organic farming means that the use of chemicals to feed the crops or kill weeds and insects are kept to a minimum. If any chemicals are used, they are generally made from natural ingredients. This helps to maintain a habitat in which wildlife can thrive.
We also stock regular supplies of dry products such as dates, almonds, olive oil and maftoul from Zaytoun, a social enterprise founded to support Palestinian farmers through fair trade.
Suma supplies our small range of quality whole foods offered at trade prices to Food Co-op customers. Suma is a workers’ co-operative – a radical business managed and owned by its workers. They are also the largest independent supplier of whole foods in the UK.
Supporting The Climate and Environment
Our Food Co-op continually strives to reduce its CO2 footprint through sustainable sourcing and support of the local food movement.
We have a Zero waste approach and do not pre-package our goods so our customers can purchase the amount they need. We also recycled cardboard delivery boxes and have introduced bio-degradable plastic shopping bags.
Forming a Food Co-op Network
As well as running our weekly Food Coop session, more recently we have also been instrumental in setting up a local Food Coop Network with Limehouse Town Hall and The Teviot Centre.
St Hilda’s East Food Coop acted as best practice model, leading on the set up and training of the other co-ops. As a result, together this coop network offers fresh and affordable fruit and veg to particularly deprived areas of the borough, creating an impact beyond St Hilda’s East’s local area.
Coop network members (us included) work together to combine suppliers, reduce costs and share learning.
Visit the St. Hilda’s East Food Co-op—open every Thursday 11:30 am to 2:30 pm
If you are interested in finding out more about the Food Coop, pop in on a Thursday. You can also give us a call on 020 7739 8066, or email [email protected]
Many thanks to Womens’ Environmental Network for supporting the Community Food and Advice Project.