A new supermarket dedicated to waste-free shopping is on the hunt for a new home after the owners were told they had to leave their current premises just three months into the eco-friendly venture.
The Sustainable Co-Operative (SCOOP) was this month served notice on their site at Vermont Farm in St. Brelade, meaning that the farm shop will have to vacate the property by the beginning of March.
The site was leased out by the owners of the farm, but now, just three months since SCOOP successfully crowdfunded over £25,000 to bring their sustainable and environmentally conscious shopping venture to life, the business has to find a new home.
Kaspar Wimberly, who co-founded SCOOP along with India Hamilton, told Express that the early hurdle for the eco-initiative is “disappointing and saddening”, but something that they are viewing as an opportunity to expand and develop the business.
SCOOP will have to vacate the property by 4 March, but is applying to have an extension on that date to give them more time to scout out a new site.
Pictured: The co-founders of SCOOP posted about the notice being served on their Facebook group (Facebook/SCOOP).
Explaining the situation, Kaspar said: “It’s become clear that we were no longer wanted at that particular location.
“...maybe the realities of having a successful farm shop and co-operative on your property may be was not something that the landlords saw themselves as wanting for the long-term and maybe they hadn’t realised that at the beginning," Kaspar speculated.
Despite this, Kaspar says that there are no hard feelings as a result of the notice: "We kept it a professional and positive relationship to them and we wish them all the best in the future as very valuable members of the local organic farming community."
Looking towards SCOOP’s future, Kaspar said: “For whatever reason, they’ve given us our notice which was obviously quite disappointing and saddening, but also something that we will see as an opportunity to grow the Sustainable Co-operative and evolve into something that can be more resilient and reach a broader demographic.”
Video: SCOOP's vision for a waste-free shop.
Kaspar went on to explain that the company is already looking at various other premises across the island as well as a potential temporary solution of becoming a “distribution [and] delivery service” that operated through “online ordering” if they don’t find a permanent site they can move into straight away.
He also mentioned the possibility of the co-operative taking a “short break” and just selling their dried and preserved produce that they have in stock.
However, as SCOOP has only known about the notice for a week and a half, Kaspar said that it’s still “early days” in terms of planning for the change and their biggest priorities are ensuring their members "can still access the produce that they’ve now become used to getting" and to "continue to support the farmers" that SCOOP buys produce from.
“If anyone has any ideas or suggestions or maybe they have a property that might be suitable and they share the values that we share about looking after the environment and creating a food chain that is more sustainable and more responsible then please, please get in touch,” Kaspar urged.
Pictured: Inside the current premises, which the team are being asked to vacate by March.
Speaking more generally about how SCOOP has been received by Jersey shoppers, Kaspar says that the first three months of trading has “been fantastic”. The company, which is partly owned by its customers, has 190 people signed up as members, and Kaspar says that he has already noticed “how people are adapting their lifestyles” by using less plastic or shopping for organic produce.
“There seems to be from across the island a real interest in what we’re doing and the message that we want to get out there and we hope many other places will follow suit.”
Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.
There are no comments for this article.