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.


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.

Shop closed, but local regular customers can pre-order

Fareshares volunteers met again online yesterday to talk about how we might continue to be of service to our community while reducing the risk of virus transmission.

We reviewed our experiment last Friday when we ran a shift during which only one customer was allowed into the shop at a time, to be served by volunteers rather than helping themselves. It was good to be able to provide people with access to food, but volunteers said that it was quite a slow process and that they felt that there was still too much transmission risk.

So we decided that for the time being the shop will be closed to customers.

However, we did decide to trial pre-ordering for regular Fareshares customers who live locally to the shop (i.e close enough to pass by as part of your permitted daily exercise or shopping trip for basic necessities).

As a regular Fareshares customer you will be familiar with the products we sell. To make an order, please write a list of the items you would like to buy and drop it through the shop letterbox. Your order should generally be limited to two items of each type or 500g of each type of bulk goods such as grains/pulses. Please include your name and a phone number.

Our volunteers will do their best to put your order together, with regard to the current limitations of supply. They will then call you to arrange a pickup time at which you should please bring cash for payment.

We hope that this system will work out and be a useful service for people at this very difficult time. Thank you for your patience and support.

Try and steer clear of this infection

Update Thursday 19th March 2020

Fareshares volunteers have had a meeting online this afternoon, and we have decided that our only opening hours this week will be today, Thursday 19th March 2020, from 4pm to 8pm.

To reduce the risk of disease transmission, only one customer will be allowed in the shop at a time, and there will be self-service will be suspended.

One volunteer will gather the items you need, and the other volunteer will take the cash and give your change. Volunteers will be using disposable gloves and hand sanitizer.

To reduce waiting time for other customers, please try to arrive with a list of what you need.

We will only be selling pre-packaged items and fruit and vegetables. There will be no sales of bulk items unfortunately.

Because of the increased demand and restrictions on supply, we will have a general limit of one item of each type per customer, or moderate amount of fresh produce, at our volunteers’ discretion.

The shop will not be open on Friday 20th or Saturday 21st. We will use this time to prepare to continue to provide our service next week in as safe a way as possible.

Next week we hope to resume sales of bulk items (grains, beans, seeds etc) weighed and pre-bagged by volunteers in as hygienic a manner as possible.

Thank you for your co-operation and for your support of Fareshares and its volunteers. And please do check our website for further developments and certainly before you travel to the shop.

debating our response to covid-19

The volunteers who work together to bring you Fareshares are currently discussing what we should do in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

On the one hand Fareshares provides good food and other essentials at affordable prices, and people depend on that. It’s not a luxury.

On the other hand there are many practical considerations and concerns which could make closing the shop the more responsible choice for us all.

Some of our volunteers have already said that reluctantly they have will have to stop working shifts for a variety of very good reasons.

Others, though, are keen to try to continue providing the service in one way or another, in the short term at least.

So to avoid a wasted journey please check back here for the latest position before you travel to Fareshares.

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