Wholefoods don’t need to come from a health food shop, less still a supermarket. A ‘bulk buying club’ offers an alternative where a small number of people join together to take greater control over their food sourcing. Members can make big savings in return for a little volunteer labour, as well as reducing their packing waste.
Setting up this type of ‘no frills’ food co-op is fairly straightforward but actual examples tend to be pretty low-key and hidden from view. That’s why this site sets out to shed light on the basic model and share the experience of individuals who’ve operated these co-ops successfully over a number of years. So, if you’d like to see something similar in your locality, this site can be your route to support and advice on making it happen. You might even discover there’s a buying club near you already.
A taster: Dublin’s ‘invisible’ food co-op
It’s a Thursday afternoon and a pallet full of organic foodstuffs, plus a few personal care and household products, is dropped by truck to an obscure Dublin 1 backstreet. Fourteen households have combined their purchasing for the order and this is the day when a modest warehouse space becomes the centre of their activity; group members work at splitting up the delivery, checking in, weighing out – a flow of volunteer shifts and pick-ups. Within five hours, all is gone, without a trace… until the next time.
This is Pop-Up Wholefoods – nonprofit and low-cost, DIY and democratic.