Tomorrow, I’ll be setting out with an assortment of bags and containers to fill with organic wholefoods – nuts, seeds, pulses, rice and more. Yet, my destination won’t be a zero waste shop or stall, but rather a low-key warehouse in Dublin’s North Inner City. There, just for the day, a ‘pop-up’ co-op will spring into action to allocate pre-ordered deliveries.
I’ll be rolling up my sleeves and pitching in – and the reward I’ll receive will go well beyond getting in my groceries with minimum waste. I’ll be part of a community of like-minded people, spanning many nationalities, and we’ll all be saving money in a big way, across a really wide choice of items, including personal care and household products.
Zero waste shops are great and I’d love to see more, but they can’t match a bulk buying club or pop-up co-op when it comes to cost and range. Quite simply, shops have significant overheads that tend toward an add-on of about 50%; they also struggle with less popular lines that sell slowly. By contrast, without tying up a cent in stock, a nimble co-op can offer its members thousands of options for pre-order at close to wholesale price. Better still, my co-op allows me to take shares of sacks and large packs so that, as an individual member, I don’t need to buy big quantities but can still enjoy the savings of collective bulk buying.
About this site
This site aims to encourage and support the setting up of further bulk buying clubs and small food co-ops in Ireland by sharing the experience of individuals who have operated a ‘pop-up wholefoods’ model over a number of years.