This week’s Fresh Produce

We look forward to having the following available from Thursday, March 4:
– Savoy cabbage
– Leeks
– Onions
– Jerusalem artichokes
– Kalettes
– Alouette potatoes
– Brown mushrooms
– Adams Permain apples

No longer inviting “advance orders”

While our door was closed during the early months of the pandemic last year, we set up a system of “advance orders”, allowing people to send a grocery order by email or on paper, which our volunteers would prepare for pickup.

We continued to invite advance orders for a while after we re-opened in August, but we found that they were rather time-consuming because of all the communication about pickup times and about what was and wasn’t in stock, and there were quite often mixups and slow responses on both sides.

Now people have generally been able to come back and do their shopping in person (served by volunteers for the time being at the door where there’s good ventilation, in order to reduce infection risk). We receive very few requests for advance orders any more, and we have been slow to respond to those few that we have received.

So to keep things simple, and not over-promise, we have decided to stop offering the service of advance orders now.

Please come to the door during opening hours and our volunteers will serve you as efficiently as we can.

We appreciate it if you bring your own containers for us to fill with loose goods, as it’s quicker and less wasteful than fiddling with paper bags.

(NB We are still accepting “pre-orders”, by which we mean non-stock items that you would like us to order from the Infinity catalogue, paid up front.)

Fruit & Veg Available Jan 21

We look forward to having the following fresh produce available this week:

Apples (Orleans Reinette)
Cabbage
Kale
Leeks
Crown Prince squash
Carrots
Brown mushrooms
Celeriac
Onions (pending supplier availability)

Yuletide opening hours

We’re doing an extra opening for you on Sunday 20th. Then we’re open as usual Thursday 24th, but closed Friday 25th and Saturday 26th. After that we are open normal times on 31st December and 1st and 2nd January.

Stocking-up time!

Zaytoun products on our shelves this week. They make great presents … even if it’s just to yourself!

We’re continuing to build up our stocks and supplies, increasing our bread order and doing our best to have a decent selection of local organic veg to offer you. Due to arrive this week from the Better Food Shed is:

  • Cauliflower
  • Kale, cavolo nero
  • Red onions
  • Desiree potatoes
  • Apples (various)
  • Dirty carrots
  • Red cabbage
  • Swede
  • Brown mushrooms

Also this week we’ll be receiving the first order we’ve made from Suma for many months, which will help plug some of the gaps on our shelves and even reintroduce some chilled products again (tofu at least).

What’s more thanks to Zaytoun we have stocked up with our traditional selection of artisanal Palestinian produce, viz organic and fairtrade certified extra virgin olive oil, zesty za’atar (a traditional herb mix), boxes of Medjoul dates, freekeh (smoky green wheat) and maftoul (giant couscous).

We are open for service at the door at our normal opening times (Thurs 2-8, Fri 4-7, Sat 3-5).

So come and stock up your shelves too!

If you keep coming, we’ll keep serving

We have been providing the community with wholesome organic food at unbeatable prices for more than 30 years, and we’re not stopping any time soon.

Essential retail is allowed under the national restrictions that have just come into force, as is providing voluntary services.

So we’ll still be here at our usual opening times, serving at the door as before in order to the minimise transmission risk.

This way of serving customers is quite a bit more labour-intensive than the good old self-service muck-in, but we have recently had an influx of wonderful new volunteers, so we are managing OK, and enjoying chatting with regulars and new faces as we get your orders together.

So please keep on shopping at Fareshares.

And bring your brolly if it looks like rain.

open for service at the door

We are open again at our usual times (Thursdays 2-8, Fridays 4-7, Saturdays 3-5), volunteer availability permitting.

For the time being, customers are not being admitted into the shop, but will be served from a table at the door. You are encouraged to bring your own containers for bulk items which volunteers will fill for you. Please wear a face covering if you can … and bring an umbrella if it looks like rain!

We are also continuing to accept advance orders, either posted through the door or sent by email to food AT fareshares.org.uk — please make sure you include a phone number with your order so that we can call you with queries and let you know when your order is ready for collection, which will be during normal opening hours.

It is actually quite useful for us to have some orders in advance, especially if they’re quite large, so that we can be working on them when there are no customers at the door. The only drawback is that we have to use paper bags for loose goods (grains etc), which is wasteful and rather fiddly. So ideally you might like to send us an advance order of your non-bulk items, and then bring your reusable containers to be filled with loose goods when you come to collect your order.

Thanks!

Looking forward to seeing you again!


Why aren’t we opening Fareshares as normal?

We are sorry not to be letting you back into the shop yet, but with coronavirus still as prevalent as it is there is a consensus among Fareshares volunteers that we should err on the side of caution for the moment. Our decision takes into account the lack of space and ventilation in our little shop; the need there would be for constant sanitisation of scoops, lid handles, jars, pens, calculators and weighing machines if customers were serving themselves; and the fact that Fareshares is under much less pressure to open conventionally than if it were a for-profit business.

We understand that not everyone will agree with our decision not to open in the normal way yet but we ask for your patience and co-operation anyway. It will inevitably be quite time-consuming for volunteers to serve you, and you may have to queue for a while (though we’re finding that people are often enjoying the opportunity this provides for a natter). We are doing our best to maintain our offer of good food at affordable prices in difficult circumstances, and we will review how we work as time goes on.

Not a shop. An experiment in Community! An all-volunteer project.