All posts by trevor

Herbs are back

We’ve finally restocked on some herbs and spices, thanks to the enthusiasm and effort of volunteers Laura and Lucy. We have cumin seeds, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, cinnamon quills, thyme, chamomile flower, mixed herbs.

Sourced in bulk from the Organic Herb Trading Company in Somerset and painstakingly packed into 25g and 50g paper bags for minimal packaging waste and maximum value.

Come and get ’em!

Bulk bread flour available

We’ve accidentally ordered two 25kg sacks of flour — one is strong white (£1 per kg) and the other is strong wholemeal (88p per kg).

If you bake, next time you shop at Fareshares please come with your containers and take some of it off our hands!

The white is £1 per kg and the wholemeal is 88p per kg.

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.)

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 — 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.


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.

Eat the rainbow

If your cupboard is looking a bit bare, get yourself to Crampton Street and fill your containers with a colourful array of pulses, seeds, grains, nuts and all the other good things to be found at Fareshares.

Gorgeous grains, beautiful beans, pulchritudinous pulses, stunning seeds and so much more