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Unicorn News

Veg news 30th November 2016

The freezing weather heralds a shift for two of our favourite suppliers. Thursday sees the last delivery from Libby Flintoff who grows on the Fylde not far from Preston (an area badly affected this time last year in the December floods). Enjoy the last of her rocket, watercress, and spinach – separately or together!
Francis Sampson , who farms near the tip of Cornwall, will however see us through the harsh winter months, as the weather is much milder and thus virtually frost free there. His purple sprouting broccoli is a joyous seasonal treat – especially as UK (green) broccoli hits its last week or so. If the stalks are a little thick, just slice lengthways and it will cook at the same time as the florets and leaves.
He also plants successional cauliflowers, so if the weather stays cool, they can be harvested every week, keeping a constant supply through the winter – when, barring roots and cabbages, other veg is scarce.

Last Modified - 30th November 2016

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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

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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