Who are we?
We are a collective of local Epsom residents who want to make a positive contribution to our community.
What are we doing?
We are hoping to launch Meet and Veg in Autumn 2016 in Manor Green Road, Epsom, Surrey. We want to create a destination and retail space that is run by and for the community. Our core offering will be seasonal fruit and vegetables addressing a need for easy access to fresh produce in the borough. But more than that, we want to create a space where locals can come and have a chat, sit and read the paper and feel part of their local community. We are a Social Enterprise and registered as a Community Interest Company (CIC), which means that most of our profits go back into the business or to other great local initiatives.
Why are we creating Meet and Veg?
There are currently no dedicated green grocers within approximately a 3 mile radius of our shop. Yet shopping habits have changed and we are once again making weekly shops with the need to ensure that we consume more fresh produce to keep us healthy.
We have a social purpose to help address a number of challenges that our society faces including:
- Creating easy access to fresh, local produce
- Buying surplus food produce from residents grown in their allotments or back gardens
- Reducing food waste
- Reducing our carbon footprint
- Creating employment
- Enabling young people to work with us to gain life-skills
- Providing alternative snacks and fruit drinks to tackle the sugar issue and reduce obesity
- Providing breakfast smoothies for the 20% of children that attend school without having eaten
- Mobilising the community to tackle our social challenges together
- Rejuvenating our shopping parades
- Creating a destination for many within our community to meet, share stories, support each other, laugh and contribute
- Creating a sustainable, socially focused business that sets a bar and inspires others
How are we going to do it?
We are on a journey with lots to learn. In order to bring Meet and Veg to life we are aiming to raise £40,000 through crowdfunder.co.uk. This will contribute towards our lease; buy all the equipment we need to make our shop as welcoming and as easy to use as possible; provide decent wages for our employees; and stock the shop with fresh fruit and veg. Any surplus donations from our initial crowd funding efforts will be reinvested into Meet and Veg to provide even better services to the local community.
We promise to be open and inclusive, listen, and work hard as we bring Meet and Veg alive. We clearly need funders but we would also value hearing from anyone who wishes to join the journey with us. We will need builders, craftsmen, experienced staff, volunteers, suppliers, local fruit and veg growers, professional services and just about anyone else who wants to get involved and encourage us along the way!