Hubbub “Your local shops, delivered” comes to Hackney
I recently heard about Hubbub, a company that offers delivery of produce from independent local shops. I was super excited to find out that they are expanding their service to Hackney, as someone who doesn’t have a lot of spare time, but loves good food and wants to support small local shops Hubbub is something that I was eager to find out more about, so asked the founder Marisa Leaf some questions:
What is Hubbub and why did it start?
Hubbub is the home delivery service for local independent shops. Our customers get all the convenience of the supermarkets (and more) plus the service and quality offered by the best independent shops – and of course the shops get more business.
In my previous career as a lawyer, I realised that lots of people (starting with me!) were too busy to get to their local independent shops in person but for quality and ethical reasons would much rather buy from their local butcher, baker or fishmonger than from the big multiples. At the same time, the high street’s struggling to compete with the supermarkets and there’s concern that we’ll reach a tipping point beyond which independent retail won’t survive. That matters because small shops employ local people and local services, enhance the quality, choice and control we have over the food we buy and reduce the distance we need to travel to shop; these independent businesses make our communities thrive.
So, I decided to leave the law and set up Hubbub. We partner with many of the best independent shops and busy customers can order from them all online at www.hubbub.co.uk, go through one online checkout, pay one delivery charge, and receive everything in one delivery. Orders are hand packed by your greengrocer, fishmonger or butcher and we collect in person every day so it’s as fresh as if you’d gone to the shop yourself.
It’s my goal for Hubbub to expand to lots more areas across London and eventually the rest of the UK, with each area being served by its own local shops. We’ll always be a hyper-local business within each community, keeping our connection with local shops and residents and supporting as many independent businesses as possible.
What kind of shops and suppliers do you work with?
We handpick the shops we work with for their exceptional quality of produce and service. Everything we sell is freshly made in-house, cut to order or supplied by small suppliers and artisan producers. The shops we work with only ever buy from farms which respect the highest standards of animal welfare and they buy locally wherever they can. We prioritise fresh food – fish, meat, fruit, vegetables, bread – because this is where the expertise of small shops and their short supply chains add the most value. We also sell an excellent and growing range of store cupboard essentials, specialist vegan and ‘free from’ products, beer and wine, environmentally friendly household and skincare products. Customers tend to stock up non-specialist stuff like loo roll from one of the big multiples every 6-8 weeks and order all their fresh food and specialist things from Hubbub weekly.
How do the shops benefit?
The whole idea behind Hubbub is to help the high street compete with supermarkets by opening up the online and convenience markets to them. By making it possible for people to buy from their local independent shops when they can’t get to them in person, we bring more sales to all the shops we work with – including in-store thanks to all the marketing we do on their behalf.
Hackney’s great because so many people in this and the surrounding areas really care about the quality of their food. And the kind of people who care about what they eat also tend to care about supporting their local shops. There are lots of incredible small producers in this area too – like E5 Bakehouse and Hansen & Lydersen – reflecting the local demand for really excellent produce. It’s a really exciting place to work!
What local Hackney shops are taking part?
Ginger Pig, E5 Bakehouse and Hansen & Lydersen will be amongst the first shops we’ll be working with and the list will grow over the first few weeks and months after we launch so watch this space!
When do you launch in Hackney?
Soft launch scheduled for 12th September.
What can customers using Hubbub expect?
Customers can expect to buy outstanding quality food which is freshly made, cut to order or supplied by small, artisan producers. It’s really quick and simple to place an order on our website and there are lots of thoughtful extra touches that make using Hubbub easy for even the least organised shoppers amongst us; recipes can be ordered with just one click, ‘order notes’ can be left for the shops to tell them if you’d like your fish filleted or whole or your avocados firm or ripe, and you can even get same day delivery – at no extra cost – on orders placed by midday. At the moment, we deliver in one hour slots Monday to Friday 4pm-10pm using our own super-efficient and very lovely drivers and we’ve got plans to start delivering at weekends soon too.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Yes! By reducing the number of individual car journeys made by local residents, we’re able to reduce local traffic congestion and CO2 emissions. We’re also very strict about packaging; the shops we deliver from only use packaging when it’s unavoidable to keep produce fresh and intact and we don’t add any packaging of our own at all. Almost all the fruit and veg we sell is sold loose so customers can order as much or as little as they need and we’ve never done a BOGOF in our lives.
You can sign up and look at the range online at: www.hubbub.co.uk