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 group of people join together to save money and reduce packing waste in return for a little volunteer labour.
Setting up this type of ‘no frills’ food co-op isn’t difficult, but those that exist tend to be quite hidden. This site sets out the basic model – and if you’d like to see something similar in your locality, there’s support and advice on making it happen. You might even discover there’s a group near you already.
A taster: Pop-Up Wholefoods, Dublin 1
It’s a Thursday afternoon and a pallet full of organic foodstuffs, with a few added personal care and household products, is dropped by truck to an obscure city 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 a ‘pop-up co-op’ in action – nonprofit and low-cost, DIY and democratic.