Save Locavore

by Locavore CIC in Glasgow, Glasgow City, United Kingdom

Save Locavore
We did it
On 2nd February 2023 we successfully raised £73,726 with 785 supporters in 71 days

Save Locavore - Locavore needs your help to secure its future.

by Locavore CIC in Glasgow, Glasgow City, United Kingdom

 New stretch target

We've reached our initial target of £50,000 which is the minimum we felt we needed to try and secure our future. Everything we raise beyond this continues to give us the best possible chance to succeed and make us strong and resilient for the future.

About Us:

Locavore is a social enterprise which exists to build a sustainable food system which is better for people and planet. Over the last 11 years we’ve grown from a tiny Shawlands shop into an organisation that’s at the forefront of laying down the foundations for the type of food system we need in the future. A food system that meets the needs of the climate and biodiversity emergencies while creating a fairer, more redistributive local economy.  

We’ve built a market for good food that’s given new food businesses the confidence to start up and others the ability to scale up and grow. We’ve helped farmers convert to organic, nudged producers who’d never considered organic to take the plunge, and created a blueprint for other aspiring shops and farmers to follow.

All this local sourcing, focus and care means our economic impact is pretty impressive too. In our investigation (Locavore and the Leaky Bucket) we found that when £1 is spent in our Govanhill shop it was worth £1.92 to Glasgow, £2.36 to Scotland and £2.87 to Scottish and progressive producers. This is because that money stays local or with 'good' businesses. For comparison £1 spent in a normal supermarket is generously expected to be worth £1.24 to the local area. 

We currently have four shops across central Scotland, 4 organic market gardens and a central hub where we pack our veg boxes and deliver wholesale orders to other retailers around the country. On top of that we have a kitchen supplying our cafes and shops, and run projects like our community plots at Bellahouston, and the Good Food Fund which gets good food to those in most need.

Unfortunately this is all now under critical threat as we face the most difficult period in our 11 year history.

We really need your help.

What went wrong:

Since launching our Bigger Plan in early 2021 we’ve gone through a period of rapid growth and expansion. We opened new shops in Garnethill, Kirkintilloch and Edinburgh, bought Narrowboat Market Garden near Linlithgow and took on and fitted out a warehouse from which we run our wholesale business, and veg box deliveries.

Over this timeline we gained widespread recognition winning Scottish and then UK Social Enterprise of the Year in 2021 and in November 2022 we won the BBC Food & Farming Award for Best Shop and Market.

Unfortunately from early in 2022 the cost of living crisis started brewing and this combined with other factors meant we knew that we had a serious cash flow problem developing. Our new shops opened less busy than we had anticipated and at the same time our other shops were a bit quieter than they had been previously, and veg box numbers were reducing.

Much of our expansion was financed by lending from Social Investment Scotland (SIS), a social lender that distributes loans from government funds. We made them aware of the situation and the need for further investment to bridge the gap till we would make new locations profitable and make other changes in the business. We were encouraged to apply to the Recovery & Resilience Loan Fund, we matched the fund purpose well and put in an expression of interest for the deadline which unfortunately wasn’t till the end of June. We were told a decision could be made fast and all going well we could have money in our account as early as the end of July.

It didn’t work this way. A catalogue of delays from SIS meant we did not get a solid answer till late October. They said they would give us no support, we appealed this, but they won't budge.

If we had this decision in July we would have lots of options. Now however we have almost none. We believe Social Investment Scotland have failed to manage the process in a timely manner and we have become the collateral damage of this. We will be putting in a formal complaint to the Scottish Government… but for now we need to focus on securing our future by another route. It’s going to be very challenging.

Our Recovery Plan:

Our turnaround plan is not the plan we wanted to implement. Our original plan was one in which we buy the time to slowly grow our way into our new shops and communities, with the resources and funds to work towards success in the medium term so that we maximise our impact and long-term position.

The new plan is to do what it takes to survive without any immediate investment while keeping as much of Locavore intact as possible so we can minimise damage to our long-term ambitions. This is a plan focused on cutting costs fast and improving profitability to quickly bring the business to a position where it ends each month in a slightly better position than it started. 

Here’s our immediate actions:

  • We closed Locavore Garnethill – We struggled to make this branch work since it opened and sales were no longer growing. Closing it now frees up stock that can be sold in other branches, and allows the manager Tatenda to return to our Govanhill Branch as the new manager. We wish we had more time to spend making this shop work, but we didn't.
  • We have reviewed and are changing opening hours at our branches so we only open at the times it’s profitable to. Look out for changes soon.
  • Alongside changes in opening hours we need to reduce staff hours in all shops. In some branches this will have limited impact on the team as it’ll be achieved through not replacing hours that have become available; but in others there will almost certainly be redundancies. We don’t want to do this but it needs to be done, we are sorry.
  • We raise £50k through crowdfunding. This will give us the breathing space we need to move from making a loss to making a small profit again. With this time we take forward other actions we have identified to increase profitability including improving our margins, reducing waste and bringing in new income from renting out little bits of offices and sheds we have dotted around. Fancy a potting shed, art studio or office for your sustainable business or project? Get in touch [email protected]
  • Once we are breaking even we take on new investment through loanstock or private investors and use this money to catch up with overdue invoices to many of our dear suppliers. You can register interest in investing here.

This plan isn’t bursting with butterflies and rainbows. It’s not exciting, it’s not fun, and it’s going to be difficult – but it’s now our best shot at securing a future for Locavore and everything that we exist to achieve.

The direction of sales right now does set us up well. Customer numbers at Edinburgh and Kirkintilloch have grown by 8% since spring and September and October were our the busiest months to date at these locations. Our Govanhill and Partick shops have been recovering too, with October being the best month for them both in quite some time. Our veg box numbers have been growing fast too, they have increased by 25% since the summer. These sorts of improvements are what we need to continue to achieve in the coming months, alongside making cost savings. 

These coming months are going to be the most difficult days of Locavore but we’re confident we can pull it off. Our founder Reuben started Locavore with just £3,500 and our team have achieved great things on a shoestring budget again and again. We always operate against the grain of what makes business easy; and we usually pull it off. We’re pretty sure we can do this, but we do need your help .

Please help us do everything we can to Save Locavore. Pledge to our crowdfunder and make some of the other actions below if you can as well. Then let your friends and family know!

How else you can help:

  • Use our shops in Govanhill, Partick, Kirkintilloch & Dalry in Edinburgh.
  • Sign up for a veg box, and invite your friends to do the same. We deliver all over central Scotland and down into Ayrshire.
  • Get in a Christmas order with us for everything from trees and turkeys to seitan roasts and hampers.
  • Find out about investing in us.
  • Share our crowdfunder and sign up to raise funds on our behalf.
  • If you buy for a business then find out about our wholesale service [email protected]



This project offers rewards in return for your donation. Please select a reward below.

£50 or more

Just Save Locavore

Require no thanks? Just help save Locavore with this donation and we'll provided you with a certificate of thanks.

£15 or more

17 of 200 claimed

Organic Tote Bag from the Soil Assocciation

Thanks for supporting us. You can collect a Soil Association branded organic tote bag from one of our shops.

£20 or more

Coffee, cake and a discount

Pop into our Govanhill or Edinburgh branches for a coffee and cake in our cafe and get a 5% discount on your shop that day.

£25 or more

45 of 60 claimed

Tour & Lunch at Narrowboat Market Garden

Join a tour of Narroboat Market Garden, our land by the Union Canal near Linlithgow. We bought the 2.5 acre site in late 2021 and had our first successful season in 2022 growing lots of squash, salads and herbs. There will be four dates to choose from in 2023. Includes a light organic, local and seasonal lunch.

£25 or more

26 of 60 claimed

Tour & Lunch at Left Field Market Garden

Join a tour of Left Field Market Garden near Neilston. Left Field was our first proper growing site that we started work on back on 2014 and boast several polytunnels and loads of plots growing a wide range of crops through the year. There will be four dates to choose from in 2023. Includes a light organic, local and seasonal lunch.

£25 or more

Save Locavore & drink coffee

Have a 250g bag of our Dear Green/Locavore Blend organic coffee courtesy of the coffee heroes at Dear Green.

£30 or more

Minor Figures Oat M*lk for 3 months

Get 1l of Minor Figure Oat M*lk for 12 weeks - either with your veg box subscription or to collect in any of our shops.

£45 or more

Seasonal Pesto with your Veg Box

Get a tub of our home made organic, seasonal pesto delivered alongside your veg box for 12 weeks.

£50 or more

Coupons to use in our shops

Get a wad of coupons for our shops worth £60. Coupons include money off when you when you spend, discounts off produce and free items.

£50 or more

28 of 60 claimed

Pick & Bunch your own flowers

Join our lead flower grower and florist Kim for a half day learning to grow, pick and bunch flowers from our organic flower garden in Bellahouston. Includes a light lunch. Choose dates TBA from June 23 onward.

£60 or more

Veg Box for 4 weeks

Give the gift of a standard veg box delivery for 4 weeks.

£100 or more

Just Save Locavore

Require no thanks? Just help save Locavore with this donation and we'll provided you with a certificate of thanks.

£100 or more

Coupons to use in our shops

Get a wad of coupons for our shops worth £120. Coupons include money off when you when you spend, discounts off produce and free items.

£100 or more

Box of eggs each week for a year

A box of 6 organic eggs from Scotston Farm to collect from one of our shops each week for a year.

£100 or more

Cheese Club

Join our new cheese club for four months and get a selection of our local organic cheeses delivered with your veg box, or to collect for any of our branches.

£180 or more

Wine every month

Collect a bottle of our organic wine wine of the moment each month for a year. Available for collection from Govanhill or Partick shops.

£200 or more

Just Save Locavore

Require no thanks? Just help save Locavore with this donation and we'll provided you with a certificate of thanks.

£250 or more

0 of 6 claimed

'Allotment' at Narrowboat Market Garden

Get a 100sqm plot for growing your own local organic produce at our Narrowboat Market Garden between Linlithgow & Philipstoun in West Lothian. This is for the 2023 growing season with potential to renew thereafter. You'll need to grow in accordance with organic standards.

£300 or more

3 of 5 claimed

Narrow Escape to Narrowboat Market Garden

Join Reuben for a cruise down the canal on 'Watercress' from Linlithgow to Narrowboat Market Garden. He'll pick you up from Linlithgow Basin and you'll then cruise the 2 miles east to our land at Narrowboat Market Garden. There he'll give you a tour of the farm where you can help with some light gardening tasks and then have a home made local, organic and seasonal lunch before being given a run back to Linlithgow. Suitable for up to 6. Dates TBA.

£350 or more

Small Veg Box & Fruit Delivered for 6 Months

A weekly delivery of a small local organic veg box for 6 months and a small fruit bag. Our small box contains 4-5 varieties of seasonal veg and as well as 2 kinds of organic fruit.

£400 or more

0 of 2 claimed

A 220kg barrel of organic tomato concentrate

Make soup, ketchup or pasta sauce for your whole street or just bathe in the organic goodness. Once it's finished you'll have a plastic drum ready to be upcycled into a raft or rainwater collector. Delivery by pallet anywhere in the UK though if you're somewhere remote there may be a surcharge. Send us an email for info about that and the product specification sheet: [email protected]

£500 or more

1 of 5 claimed

Team Building Day

Bring your team along for a day out on one of our market gardens in and around Glasgow or Linlithgow. You'll help us with tasks around our organic market garden which will vary depending on the time of year. We'll throw in a local, organic and seasonal lunch for up to 15.

£500 or more

Just Save Locavore

Require no thanks? Just help save Locavore with this donation and we'll provided you with a certificate of thanks.

£700 or more

Standard Veg Box Delivered for a Year

Get one of our 'standard' local organic veg boxes delivered for a year. Our standard box includes 6 or 7 different variates of vegetable which change with the seasons.

£1,000 or more

Just Save Locavore

Require no thanks? Just help save Locavore with this donation and we'll provided you with a certificate of thanks.

£20 or more

16 of 16 claimed

Mossgiel organic milk delivered with your veg box

For our veg box customers - get a pint of organic Mossgiel milk delivered with your veg box for 6 weeks.

£20 or more

41 of 40 claimed

A bunch of Blackcurrant Cuttings

We'll give you a bunch of 10 cutting from our blackcurrants to pot up and grow on in your own garden or allotment. Cuttings come from our Left Field Market Garden and will be available in early January.

£25 or more

20 of 20 claimed

Tomato day out

Come and help us plant tomatoes for 2023 with a half day at our Bellahouston Market Garden in Glasgow. You'll spend the day with our growers helping to plant our organic tomato seedlings into the soil and set them up for the season ahead. Includes a tour of the site and an organic lunch.

£25 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Peelham Farm Organic Meat Box

A mixed box of organic Scottish meat from Peelham Farm. Contains a selection of five items such as: Beef Mince 1 x 250g Pork Diced 1 x 250g Pork or Beef Frying Steaks 2 x 150g ea Beef Plain Burgers 1 pk x 250g (2 x Burgers/pack) Pork Garlic Sausages 1 pk x 300g (5-6 sausages) Collection or delivery at date to be arranged.

£25 or more

20 of 20 claimed

Tour of Mossgiel Organic Dairy Farm

Join a tour around Mossgiel Organic Farm and find our all about their journey, their sustainable land management and their cow and calf welfare practices. Tours take place on Friday mornings, last around 2 hours and there will be dates to choose from.

£30 or more

5 of 5 claimed

Roastery Tour - Dear Green Coffee

Dear Green are Scottish coffee legends and our in house coffee of choice at all our branches. Visit Dear Green for a tour around their coffee roastery at East Campbell Street in Glasgow. Dates TBA in the new year.

£150 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Dear Green Coffee Subscription Gift

Receive a different variety of delicious Dear Green Coffee each month for a year.

£230 or more

1 of 1 claimed

Craft Butchery Course with Peelham Organic Farm

Visit our supplier Peelham Farm in the Scottish Borders for a full day course covering the basics of butchery including making sausages, learning the cuts, and an introduction to charcuterie. An on farm lunch is included. A variety of dates for this can be chosen in 2023. Full details:

£300 or more

8 of 8 claimed

Two night stay on a Narrowboat

Spend two nights on 'Watercress', a cosy narrowboat moored on the Union Canal by our market garden near Linlithgow. The 57ft boat sleeps two and has a kitchen, wood burning stove and living area. You'll also get a short tour of the organic market garden by Locavore's founder Reuben and a quick 'how to' for his boat. Flexible dates agreed for your stay. Dog friendly.

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