Social entrepreneur looking to provide healthy food convenience and community benefit with new supermarket
A love of food and desire to make healthy, local and sustainable options more accessible, Louise Shute devised Shoots Market to reconnect people with the food they eat.
See this page in: Cymraeg
Where did the Shoots Market idea originate?
I love food (who doesn’t?) and there are so many factors that can impact what food we buy as well as how, when and where we buy it. Money, allergies, geography, convenience, preferences and culture all play a part in our food buying and these can also vary over time. When I can, I have always tried to shop local, be healthy and plan ahead but this isn’t always easy. Sometimes budget is the biggest factor in what we buy. Other times, when rushing home from work, school pick-ups and life in general it would be lovely to buy and cook a fresh meal from local ingredients but time and where you live mean this isn’t always an option. So, I started thinking ‘how can I make healthy, local, sustainable food the norm’? ‘What could a Welsh supermarket look like’?
We will provide convenience without compromise that is good for people, the planet and the economy. We want to reconnect people with where their food comes from so profits will be reinvested into communities to give everyone opportunities to learn about, grow, cook and share healthy food.
Can you give us a summary of what has been achieved?
We have been getting everything ready (vision statement, branding, suppliers, business plans etc.) so when we find the right first location we are ready to move quickly.
Did you have to overcome any major obstacles / challenges?
There are always so many things to do, it can be difficult to know where to start so it is important to have support to help plan and prioritise.
"Social Businesses are ideally placed to build back better and respond to what people and the planet really need."
Finding the right opportunity. We are looking at various options in South East Wales. We are also looking for voluntary board members to guide us on the journey, more information here – https://www.shootsmarket.com/post/voluntary-board-members-wanted
Are there any members of staff / community you would like to give special mention to?
I have been on a programme called ‘Feeding the City’ from Impact Hub Kings Cross since February and it has been great to work with fellow foodie social entrepreneurs as well as support from expert mentors in marketing, social impact, sustainability and finance.
How has Social Business Wales New Start been supporting you?
They have supported me to register my business as a Community Interest Company as well as advice on recruiting a board which was really useful. I have also enjoyed the ‘Start up with a cuppa’ sessions to network with the team and other social enterprises across Wales.
Can you describe the importance of social businesses collaborating in a mutual support setting?
Setting up a social business can be daunting and lonely at times. Being able to share opportunities and challenges with other people who know how you are feeling really helps. When you can’t see the wood through the trees, that constructive and supportive network helps you see clearly and moves you forward. Everyone is supportive and wants to work together rather than compete which leads to exciting opportunities that benefit everyone.
If you had one message for the social business sector right now, what would it be?
Social Businesses are ideally placed to build back better and respond to what people and the planet really need.
If like Louise you work with local food producers and are interested in collaborating with social businesses in the sector, join the conversation on our Food Network for Social Businesses session next Wednesday. We’ll look at building local supply networks and will hear how others have overcome supply chain challenges to cope with increased demand.
Shoots Market has received business consultancy support and advice from Social Business Wales New Start, funded by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by the Wales Co-operative Centre.
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