As we work, steadily, towards our goal of forming a Community Benefit Society to open and run a Greengrocers shop in Portobello, we continue to run a fundraising stall at the monthly Portobello Market in Brighton Park.
This months market is tomorrow – Saturday, 5th October – from 9:30 am until 1:30 pm. Our selection of fresh, loose produce this month is mostly local and organic and includes treats such as Scottish Chanterelle mushrooms and East Lothian grown Tomatillos (a relative of the tomato, fabulous in Salsas!), alongside leeks, carrots, potatoes, beetroot and beautiful Isle of Wight grown Heritage tomatoes.
But the star of the show just has to be the Portobello grown black Hamburg grapes which have been donated to us. Organically grown (but not certified) they are wonderfully juicy.
Our regular customers know to get along early for the best of the produce, but there should be enough for everyone!
A year on from Karen Mackay’s first post on the Facebook ‘Porty People’ page, proposing a community greengrocer, the project is progressing, albeit quite slowly. Our biggest hurdle remains the lack of empty shops on our High Street!
We have taken a stall at last three Portobello Markets and will be there again this coming Saturday, 2nd February. As before we will be offering a competitively priced selection of fresh, loose, fruit & veg. If you’ve never been, it’s held in Brighton Park and it runs from 9:30-1:30. Please come along and support our fundraising and the other traders there.
The Steering Group is meeting regularly and working on the details of our Business Plan. Whilst, within the group, we have a wealth of skills, none of us has sufficient financial knowledge to confidently compile that part of the plan. Is there anybody out there in Porty who has experience of preparing financial projections for a Business Plan and would be willing to spare the team a few hours to help out? We’re not expecting you to join the Steering Group, although you’d be very welcome to do so if you wish! Please get in touch if you think you can help.
Yesterday saw us take a stall at our third Portobello Market in Brighton Park. Whilst the weather and various other events conspired to keep the number of visitors down, we nonetheless sold almost all of our fresh, loose, seasonal produce. More importantly to us though, we were delighted that everyone we spoke to was very supportive of what we’re trying to do, namely, open a community-owned Greengrocers on the High Street.
We have a problem though. Portobello’s High Street is full! The Steering Group are certain that, to be successful, our shop should be somewhere between Windsor Place and Figgate Street; ideally, we think it should be between Bath Street and Beach Lane. But the last shop to fall vacant in that stretch was the last greengrocers, Banana Republic, and that has now re-opened as a Gents Salon.
But are we right? In recent weeks, and again at yesterdays market, people, clearly eager for us to open, have suggested that we could look further afield. Units past Windsor Place (heading east, obviously) have been suggested, but are they too far away from the established shops? Would you be a regular visitor to our greengrocers if it were to open closer to Joppa? Let us know in the comments, get on to the Social Medias (we’re on them all!) or drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to everyone for your continued support. Let’s hope we can move this project on to its next stage in 2019!
Our project is all about reinstating a traditional Greengrocer’s shop on Portobello High Street, but while we wait for suitable premises to become available*, we are continuing with our very popular stall at the monthly market in Brighton Park.
The next market is on Saturday 3rd November and our planning is already underway. There’s lots of great produce available at this time of year, but what would you like to see alongside the ever popular potatoes, carrots, onions and tomatoes? Leeks? Swedes? Brussels Sprouts? Pumpkins? Let us know and we’ll see what we can do.
See you on the 3rd!
** if you know of any shops which might be vacated soon, please let us know.