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Unicorn Grocery – a worker co- operative Britta Werner.

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1 Unicorn Grocery – a worker co- operative Britta Werner

2 Grocery store located in South Manchester Selling fresh organic fruit and veg and over 3,000 different lines from olive oil to organic beer and wine. A good range of non- food items Fresh bread made by another co-operative Food from our deli counter with a good variety of food made by Unicorn staff.

3 Our model direct purchasing competitive pricing Bulk buying Concentrating on wholefood, encouraging cooking from scratch As local as possible, organic if possible, fairtrade

4 Opened in 1996 with 6 people 10 staff after the first trading year. By 2003, we had 15 full-time, 7 part-time members, turnover of £1.5m a year, £30,000 a week. In 2003, we purchased the 3,000m² site with the help of Unicorn customers £350,000 of loanstock bonds were sold.

5 In 2007 we converted our roof into a green living roof In 2009 we raised more loanstock and bought 8.5hectars of farm land (now farmed by another co- operative) Last year we installed solar panels This year we are building an extension with a commercial kitchen We are now 39 members, 8 probationers and several casual workers Turnover is now £4m a year, £ 85k a week with over 4500 customers weekly.

6 Structure All directors are workers and our structure is flat No elected management committee There are specialist teams with an 'overview‘ for every team Overviews meet fortnighly to make smaller operational decisions e.g. spends of up to £1,000. Any larger decisions will go to a meeting with at least 75% of the membership present. All decisions are reached by consensus

7 Why do we not open more shops? A few of our staff have started new ventures, e.g. Moss Brook Growers and Glebelands City Growers, both worker co-operatives that grow some of our veg Dig, a box scheme that supply organic fruit and veg Soundbites in Derbyshire, a worker co-operative retail shop. Environmentjob.co.uk website for ethical jobs

8 But there is a need for more… We wrote a guide of how to set up a shop like Unicorn “Grow a Grocery” grocery.co.uk/grow-a- grocery.phphttp://unicorn- grocery.co.uk/grow-a- grocery.php All is covered from People and Produce to Planning and Policies

9 Other resources Co-operatives UK offer many tools, help and advice uk.coop For example uk.coop/start-co-op and uk.coop/grow Radical Routes new guide “How to set up a Worker Coop” radicalroutes.org.uk/publicdownloads/setupaworkerscoo p-lowres.pdf radicalroutes.org.uk/publicdownloads/setupaworkerscoo p-lowres.pdf Sustain has many case studies and resources sustainweb.org

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