Food co-op / buying club

I am looking to start a food co-op in Hackney, it would operate as a buying club. Basically, it would be a co-op the members of which would collectively purchase products (mainly or exclusively wholefoods) from a wholesale supplier and use their buying power to negotiate good deals. That’s how it could operate: – a group meets up once a month- everyone looks through the catalogue and picks out what they want (e.g. a 5kg bag of rice) and \buddy-up” with others if the item they want comes in a pack that is too large for one person (say if you can only buy a crate of 10 jars of jam at once a few people could agree to divide it amongst themselves)- prices are calculated/confirmed- members go home and pay money into the co-op account- the products are delivered to someone’s home where everyone picks them up There are organic shops/farmers markets/etc in Hackney but I personally I find the pricing prohibitive.A co-op would be able to make healthy and expensive (e.g. organic) food affordable to all members.I have thought about this to a great extent and it is not very difficult to do. Would like to hear from those who would be interested in becoming members/establishing such a co-op. Perhaps if there is enough interest we could meetup sometime (or set up an online group/mailing list) and take this further? Your thoughts please.”


  1. @threeblindmice This looks really interesting, the only problem I have is having enough time to meet once a month. So I’m a maybe, but please put me on the email list.

  2. Yes, I would also be interested in hearing some more.  Please add me to the email list.

  3. I’d be interested too

  4. @threeblindmice what’s the next steps?

  5. The next step would be to set up a mailing list and see if I can get enough people on board to make it work (get free delivery). I would probably do that in an old fashion way (e-mail + CC), so would you be happy to send me your e-mails? I won’t flood you with a hemorrhage of e-mails (in fact, it can take me a bit to get a group together). I can be reached through agne at riseup dot net @ewebber: meetings could take place once every two months (e.g. Brixton buying group), this was more of an example giving a general idea. Once I have enough interested people, I would get pricelists from a couple of wholesale suppliers and see about setting up a co-op account/officially establishing a co-op.

  6. @threeblindmice I’d recommend something like Google groups to manage a mailing group as email cc can get difficult to manage once people want to join or leave. It also keeps a record of past emails for new members I’m still a maybe, with a full time job as well as managing this (plus a few other) site, I have very little spare time.

  7. You may have already done this, but it would be well worth speaking to East London Food Access who will have ideas about best approaches and typical stumbling blocks etc.”

  8. Sounds like a great idea. Definitely count me in 🙂

  9. Thanks for all the feedback. I am not too keen on Google (privacy issues), but it does sound like a more convenient option. And I will send ELFA a message (I have come across them when researching food co-ops).I have been awfully busy these weeks, but as soon as I create a Google group I will let you know.

  10. Just dropping by to say that though I’ve been doing a million things lately and have neglected this project somewhat, it is not forgotten. Will keep you posted & thanks for all who showed an interest.

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