A New Social Business for Stroud Green

Hi folks,

The Fruit and Veg Project (a working title) is an effort to create a new and more co-operative business model whilst also bringing sustainable fruit, vegetables and employment to the Stroud Green community.

Our intention is to create a not-for-profit fruit and veg store in the Stroud Green area that will offer employment opportunities to NEET individuals. My fellow trustees and I are all in full-time employment and our motivation is to contribute to the local community whilst also creating a successful, sustainable and alternative business model.

I have started this thread to hear the thoughts, questions and suggestions of the local community.

Many Thanks


  • Hello

    Thank you for letting us know, this sounds like good idea. Stroud Green has a lot of fruit and veg outlets, including the brilliant new one opened by Ash.

    What it lacks, and what people have expressed an interest in, is a good florist. Doesn't have to be massively 'designery', just somewhere that we can buy nice fresh flowers. If you want to invest the profits in training people, floristry is a good skill to learn.

    A deli would be splendid too.

  • @Miss Annie,

    Agreed. I don't see what a new fruit and veg place would add now we have the excellent Ash here. A florist or a deli though, that would be good. Or even a gardening shop/florist. 
  • I'd put deli before florist, but I'm more practical than romantic.

  • I can vouch for what my husband Ian just said.

  • I do not see a future for this idea fr anther supplier of frui and veg ... given the current provision, and several organic veg box services

  • edited January 2012

    @miss annie (how to do an @ to someone with a space in their name<?>)
      I second a florist. I try to buy flowers every week, but apart from a couple of options in Crouch End (the one on Middle Lane - good but too pricey for every week so I often go to the pet shop) there's nada. Ideal location: somewhere between FP tube and Crouch Hill, where I live. Designer florist with pre-wrapped bouquets I can do without - just good, fresh, colourful please.

    @fruitandvegproject Sounds like a great idea though. The thing that would get me on board would be local suppliers (everything grown within a certain radius). We get a delivery box every week but they do include stuff which is too out of season for my tastes.

  • I too feel that there are already several fruit and veg places along SGR and another one would not add much variety. Ash's shop is great and we should support what we already have. In terms of a social enterprise project I would second the florist/plant sales suggestion or a bakery which I feel is really lacking on SGR.

  • An Italian deli.  With fresh flowers as well.   Actually there are many Italians in this area, so a deli would go down well and fresh flowers might bring out the romantic in them - whoops, another stereotype?

  • How about a microbrewery?

    A proper bakery would do well - the ones in Crouch End and Stoke Newington are always rammed at the weekend with people snapping up their artisan breads at high prices.

    It should also do sausage rolls. A major gap in the Stroud Green market.

    A deli would be good too.

    I agree that a florist provides a good training opportunity for people.

    Having recently visited the brilliant new fruit and veg shop, I'd be reluctant to encourage anything that may detract from it.

  • This sounds like a great idea - but agree that Fruit and Veg is probably the one thing that we don't need. Ash's place is great. 

    Would love to see a florist / garden shop like the ones on Church Street or a bakers with sausage rolls and maybe even pies. Deli would be great also, but perhaps less opportunity to train young people up? Ditto wine shop and linked bar. 

  • I think a swinger club would be great.

    Just kidding. haha. Flowers don't interest me a lot and I normally get my fruit and veg from Dalston Market. I personally would love a versatile bakery. I have to go to Church Street for a proper (good tasting) loaf of rye bread. And I'm not really much into toast, etc. The Boulangery does (in my opinion) only one good bread and that's the sourdough. But they only have x amount per day and when you come later it's gone.

  • There have been bakeries that have failed in recent years, one where the Mexican is and one ext door to Nandos

  • @Ali - there have also been restaurants and cafes which have failed. But that doesn't mean there isn't capacity in the market for new businesses if offering quality and well targeted products. Places like Vagabond, the Fruit and Veg shop and Season are proving this...

  • A good bakery-cum-deli would be great - as long as it doesn't charge the same ridiculous prices as the defunct Italian deli! The one that used to be next to Nandos was terrible - fake cream in cakes, hideous - and the one where Mexicali is didn't have interesting bread, was overpriced, and the staff were hopeless. It would be great if a bakery round here used Wright's Flour (as does Dunn's) - Wrights is the only flour mill left in London.

  • I don't know about the plethora of decent fruit and veg places, but I do agree that the new one is great and we should support that. 

    I'd support a deli and/or bakery that appeared on SGR, since both are sorely lacking.

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  • I think that something about a 'Nursery' would be great. Social Enterprise and Transition idealogy is all about getting us more reliant on our local resources. Columbia Street flower market has a plethora of 'home grown' plants and flowers. If you really are thinking about engaging young people - providing them with the 'knowledge' to then take into the future - perhaps providing local gardening services which THEN can include veg swapping from 'home-grown' veg or condiments that have been made from locals such as tomotoe chutney from all of us who have too many tomotoes, or Apple Quince Jelly from Finsbury Park or Honey from all the local Apiarists would be much more 'exciting'.

    The fruit and veg store is amazing - and be warned - it looks as if Sainsbury's is opening another store under that new building.

  •  The nearest gardening/nursery places are a long way away and that stuff's heavy to carry on a bus. It would be great to have something more local. Maybe you could work with the Mind cafe people? 
  • Agree on the high prices in delis or bakeries. The bakery in Church Street does not only do quite nice bread, they also charge a reasonable price. And Alex, the owner, is a wonderful guy.

    I quite like the thought of a nursery, too. I wonder if Finsbury Park would plan some allotments for the community; those without a garden/balcony, could grow their own fruit and vegs there. I'm part of the Dalston Roof Park community, for instance and it's great fun to gather and do some gardening, BBQ, etc.

    Then again, I'm more for a bakery. I love my bread.

  • The ones that have failed have been bad. The ones that have done well have been good.

  • Stella  you already can at Finsbury Park



  • Oooooh, thank you, Ali. I'll take a look. Though it's rather great to have the peaceful Roof Park. I'll stay with them anyway, but might join FP, too.

  • I agree that Ash's new fruit and veg shop is what we've been waiting for, fantastic. What we need is the Deli/bakery option, and as Andy says, done well it will succeed.

  • Maybe I should talk to Alex. They have two shops in Church Street and they seem to do well. And well-deserved. Bread is great and the cakes are nice, too, especially the cheese cake. The best I ever had here in the UK.

  • Bump...

    @fruitandvegproject, I was thinking about this thread yesterday when I heard something on the news about grants for businesses focusing on NEETs - are you still planning on doing something (bakery/deli, pleeeeeese) in Stroud Green?

  • A bakery definitely. Have a look at this one to see what can be done http://thehandmadebakery.coop/

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