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Organic co-operative shop to open for business in October

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THE Island’s first waste-free, organic co-operative is hoping to open its shop doors in early October.

Scoop steering committee members Kaspar Wimberley and India Hamilton

The co-op, which will be called Scoop, will sell bulk produce, grains, cleaning products and ethically-sourced meats.

India Hamilton and Kaspar Wimberley, of Scoop’s steering committee, said they hope the shop, which will be at Vermont Farm in St Brelade, will become a hub for people who want to reduce waste and embrace plastic-free living.

‘We are starting to get the shop ready,’ Mr Wimberley said. ‘We have taken care of all the legalities.

‘We are now at the stage where we are trying to gather members to make it a viable business.’

Scoop organisers think the co-op will need roughly 250 members for the shop to be viable.

‘If half the people who have said they are interested commit to it, then we will definitely be okay,’ said Mr Wimberley. ‘And hopefully there are people out there we don’t know about.’

Members will initially sign up through a crowd-funding page and the money raised will go toward their first monthly fees when the shop opens.

Scoop members will receive 25 per cent off their shop purchases, be invited to special events and be owners in the ongoing enterprise.

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‘You will very quickly cover your cost of membership in the shop,’ said Ms Hamilton.

Scoop will be open to all shoppers, however, and will have everything a person needs to begin reducing waste around shopping on hand.

‘Initially we will provide the first round of tupperware and containers,’ said Ms Hamilton. There will be cloth bags and glass jars available as needed and all the products will be sold by weight.

‘There will be no packaging, essentially everything is wholesale,’ she said. ‘It will be loose in different set-ups.

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‘We will have about 300 different products ranging from grains to cereals to spices and fresh produce.’

Wherever possible the shop will offer locally supplied, organic farm produce but Scoop will also import from different organic suppliers for products such as olive oil.

And those hoping to make their own kefirs, sourdoughs and other fermented products will benefit from the Scoop culture fridge, stocked with starter Scobys, which stands for symbiotic community of bacteria and yeast And there will be help on hand for those who need it.

Mr Kimberley and Ms Hamilton said they hope to offer as much information as possible to shoppers to help them embrace a new way of eating.

‘When people walk through the door, we want it to be fresh and exciting and smell good,’ Mr Wimberley said. ‘And you can control a little bit more what you buy and how you buy it.’

Ms Hamilton will draw on her experience working with a similar low-waste shop and organic kitchen in India.

An on-site production kitchen will be working to preserve local produce but also serve as a teaching facility.

‘It will support both the production of products for the shop and also events and evenings around food,’ Ms Hamilton said.

‘We are looking at convenience in a different way. Obviously the day-to-day convenience compared to other shops might seem different. But we’re looking at improving convenience by working really closely with the members of the co-operative, stocking it with exactly what they want. Removing packaging so you are not having to go through the stress of all the bins. We want to save time by rethinking what convenience is and removing the anxiety of living a life with lots of plastic.’

For more information visit the SCOOP The Sustainable Cooperative Facebook page.

Tania Targett

By Tania Targett
Journalist

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