Local Shops

Think about where you go food shopping. A lot of people go to supermarkets, but this website is here to promote the little people: the small grocers and convenience stores that are most threatened by supermarket dominance and need consumer support. Healthy, affordable, ethically produced and environmentally sound food should be available to everyone, which is why we have developed this website. Have a look on our Directory page to look for local shops in Manchester.

Roger, Glossop Wholefoods proprietor "Our good name has been built over a long period and has been achieved by offering a service tailored to individual requirements. We are in business to serve the local community and this is very important to us."

Give your local small shops a look and try to make them part of your shopping routine. More people getting in the habit of supporting the independent, small local shops, means an expanding local food economy.

Who is leading the way in Manchester? There are two fantastic examples we will briefly discuss - for more information look at their individual websites. Some of Manchester's independent retailers are in our Directory but we will continue adding to this list ­ let us know who else should be here.

Unicorn Grocery in Chorlton

The Unicorn Grocery is a local independent retailer that offers an alternative to supermarket chains. It sells wholesome, good quality, tasty and environmentally sound food. It specialises in non-animal products, which are, where possible, local and organic. They offer a friendly and informed service from members who are committed to the business.

An important part of the business is the relationships established with its suppliers. Where possible the produce comes from local producers and growers so supporting other local businesses. This has steadily built mutually beneficial networks of shared principles and values.

The business ethos, principles and structure are in accord with the co-operative intentions. This forms a complete package based on current best practice where the business and business objectives are harmonised. The members truly aim to 'walk their talk'.

    The Soil Association recommend how to start 'going local':

  1. Subscribe to an organic veg box scheme. Boxes full of seasonal, freshly picked produce are delivered straight to your door or to a central drop-off point (a great way to meet organic neighbours).
  2. Visit the Organic Directory for information on organic box schemes and local food resources.
  3. Discover your nearest organic farm.
  4. Check out your nearest farmers' market for delicious fresh food, many organic, direct from the farm. Visit www.farmersmarkets.net for more information.
  5. Go to your nearest city farm. Contact the Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens which promotes healthy organic food.
  6. Grow in your own allotment. Call your local council for information or contact the National Society of Allotment and Leisure Gardeners for a fact sheet on how to get started.
  7. Get the low-down on community supported agriculture (CSA). Visit www.cuco.org.uk for loads of resources including our online action manual.
  8. Find out about other local food links, like the Women's Institute country markets, community composting, LETS (local exchange and trading systems) and community orchards. Buy a copy of the Soil Association Local Food for Local People.
  9. Shop locally and support your local specialist shops. The extra pennies you spend are a vote for the quality of life.
  10. Cook a local meal once a week. Ask your grandmother/neighbour for a local traditional recipe and invite friends round to try it. Try our seasonal, organic recipes on whyorganic.org

Glossop Wholefoods is a small independently owned shop that has been in business since 1980. The shop specialises in good quality organic, whole foods and supplements. Products are selected and sold based on ethical considerations. Roger, the proprietor, is well informed about what he is selling and understands some of the medical implications.

The shop has been a trend leader selling organic fruit and vegetables since it opened, which is long time before organic products became fashionable. Similarly, Roger has stocked environmentally friendly household cleaning and laundry products from the mid 1980's. This is well in advance of their being available in the supermarkets. If a customer is having difficulty in finding something particular, he will endeavour to obtain it for them.

A personal touch, specialist knowledge, organic, local and speciality produce - all fantastic reasons why local, small scale shops are highly worthy of support. If you know of any other guiding lights, let us know!

For more information have a look at:

The Soil Association website: http://www.soilassociation.org/

Unicorn Grocery in Chorlton: www.unicorn-grocery.co.uk

Glossop Wholefoods in Glossop. www.glossopwholefoods.co.uk