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Unicorn News

Meet the Producers

Meet the Producers. Monday 3rd October 7-9.30pm, here at Unicorn Grocery.

Join us at the shop for a special evening of good food, drink and chat with some of our favourite local, organic and co-operative suppliers.

You're invited to meet some of the farmers, bakers, brewers and other producers who put food on your plate. From Eswatini Kitchen's FairTrade Swaziland pickles to Glebelands City Growers market garden just down the road in Sale, a varied selection of Unicorn’s suppliers will be bringing samples and stories to the shop.

Plus, as Unicorn undergoes the accreditation process, hear how the Fair Tax Mark is providing a label for good taxpayers; companies and organisations that are proud they pay their fair share of tax.

Ale for sale from Todmorden's Little Valley Brewery plus free soup and bread at the deli.

Tickets only in advance, £3. Available in the shop now or from the link below. Hope you can make it!

Book here

Last Modified - 19th September 2016


Grow a Grocery visit, Tuesday 8th November

Want to grow a grocery co-operative?

Come along to a free study day this November! As a workers' co-operative, we are keen to do what we can to support the establishment and growth of like-minded co-ops and social enterprises, who seek to provide affordable, wholesome, well-sourced food to their local communities.

Whether you’re looking to start-up, scale up, or simply spend time with a like-minded business, come and join us for a day covering all the key aspects of how we operate.

The study visit will include a tour of the shop and site plus meetings with co-op members involved in buying, HR, marketing and co-op structure.

Tuesday 8th November, 10 - 3, at Unicorn Grocery, 89 Albany Road, M21 0BN.

Email Leah@unicorn-grocery.coop for details and to book.

Last Modified - 19th September 2016

Veg News 13th September 2016

UK Apples are really taking off now. The early season sharpness is easing a little and sweeter varieties are being introduced, especially Scrumptious from Paul Ward (Kent). Watch out for the first Cox’s Orange Pippin at end of the week too.
Summery salad and ratatouille lines are slowing down now that the nights are getting colder. Expect to see more produce from Dutch glass houses: tomatoes and cucumbers in particular. The exception are red and yellow peppers from Carey in Herefordshire, which are more abundant and looking and tasting fantastic.
Libby Flintoff in Preston suffered from mid-summer flooding, which was disastrous for her seedlings, but there was a silver lining: one new crop she planted seemed to enjoy the wetness…..watercress! We’re expecting a very small quantity of her Lancashire watercress this Thursday and then hopefully more in the weeks to come.
UK squashes are coming into their own now, with more cured varieties appearing and flavours deepening. Staff favourite right now is the Golden Nugget for its creamy flesh.
Finally, from Europe we’re really enjoying French figs and Muscat de Hambourg grapes, as well as Spanish mangoes and sweet potatoes.

Last Modified - 13th September 2016

Visiting our Stockport tomatoes!

We loved seeing where our Stockport tomatoes are coming from yesterday on a visit to Glebelands Growers' new site at Woodbank Park.

Long celebrated by their customers as a model for sustainable urban food production, Glebelands have almost doubled in size in the last year, adding the new site to their existing one by the River Mersey in Sale. Their successful evolution is thanks to a highly skilled and incredibly dedicated team of co-op members who not only not how to grow amazing veg, but also know how to grow a sustainable business.

We’ve been really proud to help support their strategic vision by linking the co-op to a loyal and engaged customer base (YOU!!!), and providing some investment to help turn their vision into a reality. The ventilation system we helped purchase at Woodbank means they can benefit from the advantages of undercover growing without having to be there all the time to manually control the temperature. This is turn means they can split their time between two sites and produce lots more local organic veg!

Winter is when we'll particularly notice the difference in terms of our veg range - we'll have UK salad leaves all year round without the gap from December to Febuary that we usually experience.

It was fascinating to hear more about the growing techniques they employ and the commercial realities of being small scale organic growers. We also explored the point at which local veg that needs a lot of fuel to produce (in heated polytunnels – they don’t use these) becomes less climate-friendly than veg that is transported further but with fewer inputs. We also got to meet the The Kindling Trust's FarmStart co-ordinator who told us about training up new organic growers at the site.

The partnership between the council, Kindling, Glebelands and community growing groups has brought life back into a party derelict ex-plant nursery site, it's now a thriving 'hub' for urban agriculture in Stockport.

Look out for Stockport tomatoes in the shop for the next few weeks - get them while you can!

Last Modified - 9th September 2016

Grow a Grocery

We think there’s room for a Unicorn-type store in every city, and perhaps more besides. We have no plans to expand outside the one shop, so we’ve put together a guide intended to help facilitate the emergence of new stores run on similar lines.

Starting a new business is a daunting process. The guide is based on the model Unicorn has tried & tested since 1996, and walks potential grocers through all areas of the business, in the hope that it will make starting a new shop an easier process and help existing shops improve and/or expand.

Read the guide here

Last Modified - 10th October 2013

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