FIVE young food lovers are set to relaunch a city store as a worker-owned co-operative.
The friends, who met at Edinburgh University, have taken over the former premises of The New Leaf, in Argyle Place, which went up for sale earlier this year. They are now close to raising the £45,000 needed to reopen the store, with the backing of the Co- operative Enterprise Hub.
Sophie Preston, 27, a member of the newly-formed Edinburgh Wholefood Co-operative, who has previously worked to set up food gardens in unused city spaces, said: “We all share a passion for promoting wholefoods and are excited about bringing a new workers’ co-operative to Edinburgh – an enterprise that will enable us to earn a living while keeping our ethical and environmental beliefs central and contributing to the Edinburgh community.
“The existing shop has been running for more than 20 years and has a loyal following in the local community and so this is a great opportunity to develop a business that will be quirky and fun but with a real emphasis on supporting local producers and respecting the environment.”
Michael Fairclough of the Co-operative Group said: “The co-operative business model can restore community cohesion and help to overcome some of the unprecedented challenges currently facing our society, environment and economy.”