Buying clubs on Brexit watch

Many people across the island of Ireland are keeping a close eye on Brexit developments – and bulk buying club members are no exception.

Several groups based in the Republic currently source their deliveries from British wholefood cooperatives, importing without the slightest issue due to the two countries’ shared EU membership. However, in just five months, these small-scale arrangements could become untenable under a potential ‘No Deal Brexit’ bringing the return of tariffs and a range of import procedures. Continue reading “Buying clubs on Brexit watch”

Q&A: ‘Buying clubs vs. retail therapy’

Screenshot of feature on Pop-Up Wholefoods at Foodture websiteYou can now find a Q&A with Pop-Up Wholefoods on the Foodture website: “Buying clubs vs. retail therapy”.

Foodture is a project aiming to nurture a culture of food citizenship and help build strong community support around Fair Food farmers, producers and more in Ireland.

Big thanks to our friends at Foodture for their support!

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.

The problem with health food shops

I’m always glad that there are small, independent shops that sell wholefoods. The best of them steer clear of the temptation to pack their shelves with high-profit vitamins and supplements, with owners genuinely believing that good wholesome food is the best medicine.

But there’s a problem, still – one that the bulk buying club approach can fix. Continue reading “The problem with health food shops”

Permanently pop-up

Most people will be familiar with ‘pop-up shops’ offered on short term lets.  Dubliners may also remember Granby Park, a short-lived ‘pop-up’ public space on derelict land that was supported then taken away by the local authority, only for the site to return to disuse.

But if pop-up shops and pop-up parks come and go that’s because they express a passive, top-down idea of allocating space for temporary use until it can find a ‘higher’ (i.e. more profitable) purpose.

However, doing a pop-up activity is quite amenable to running on a permanent basis – or at least as long as those making it happen want to keep it going. Continue reading “Permanently pop-up”

Club, co-op or conspiracy?

This site uses the term ‘bulk buying club’ for a basic idea around food sourcing that has gone by several different names across different contexts and eras. Equally, the concept of a ‘buying club’ may have nothing at all to do with food, so you’ll find the idea of buying clubs for heating oil being promoted in Northern Ireland, with broadly the same goal of people co-ordinating their purchasing power to save money. The focus here, though, is on groups working together on bulk sourcing organic, wholesome food – whatever the name. Continue reading “Club, co-op or conspiracy?”