The People’s Supermarket has launched a campaign to renovate its new premises in Hackney. The ‘brick by brick’ campaign, where people can buy a piece of the re-development for £1, aims to bring new life to the building opposite Homerton station.
The community-focused co-operative supermarket moved to the 4,000 square foot premises on Sedgwick Street after a consultation with locals last year.
Now, more than ever, TPS is depend on the support of local residents.
Jessica Green, Community Engagement Manager, told EastLondonLines: “We need to raise £1m by March to be able to open next summer.”
Donators will have their names in a brick wall inside the new venue.
The plan is to dedicate half of the new area to services to the community, such as a crèche and a communal kitchen. Local producers are also being encouraged to sell their goods in the store.
Fundraising is just one of the strategies TPS is employing; they are also looking for partnerships with companies and construction specialists.
TPS offers local, seasonal food alongside recognised brands and works on a co-operative basis.
Kate Bull, Chief Executive Officer and founding member of TPS, said: “I always had a great deal of faith in people. While most supermarkets want to prevent people from doing something and have a list of ‘do not’, we have a list of what they can do. Here people come first.”
Retired teacher Gene Fisher decided to join the initiative as a volunteer after seeing it on TV. “It is such a lovely idea. This is about people helping each other. Here you do not only shop, you contribute,” she said.
This sense of community extends to all parts of the scheme. It uses an electric car for its delivery service, avoids waste of food at all costs and most of the initiative is based on voluntary work.
In order to function as a co-operative, TPS of Hackney needs at least 700 volunteers and 30 employed staff.