A non-profit food market has opened its doors in Salford’s The Angel Centre to help feed local families.

The Food Collective was established early this month to help provide daily essentials, alongside fresh produce and artisan products to the local community.

The shop was born out of a food club created during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The organisation is not-for-profit and so all proceeds are used to support the food club and to help others.

Kate Simpson, director of the store, said: “It’s a supermarket with a social purpose. We’re selling everyday essentials, but our aim is to sell nice artisan products, local stuff, and stuff that’s got a social conscience.

“In the pandemic, we opened a food club and started supporting people – we thought in the long term, this is a need, so how can we continue doing this and keep it sustainable?

“We’re always looking for other social enterprises, organisations that are local or a stall, and that have a heart. We’ve got a local meat producer, a local bread producer, and then fresh fruit and veg which we get delivered from a local supplier as well. So, it’s all that feel of stuff as much as we can.”

The store currently stocks products from Bolton’s H.M. Pasties, Manchester’s The Bread Factory and Salford’s vegan Buddha Beauty Skincare brand. Alongside this, they also offer a free hot drink for the first 20 customers each day.

Simpson also said: “If there are any local suppliers, we are actively looking at stocking and supporting local people. I’m looking at getting greeting cards printed to sell in the shop as well – I just think that would be a really nice tie in.

“We’ve not been open that long, so we’re totally open to people’s suggestions as well – I know that people have asked for more vegan options, so we’re trying to fulfil that.

“We really want to grow around the needs of the community, and we try and drop below recommended retail prices a little bit to make it affordable for everyone – we’re not-for-profit so we’re not there to make money.

“It’s for everybody. It’s getting across that it’s not a food bank, it’s an actual shop. That’s why we’ve gone out of our way to make sure we have artisan products in there as well, so that you can get something a little bit different to what you would in your normal supermarket.

“We’ve had an amazing response! When we first opened, we put a call out for anyone who wanted to volunteer, and we had an amazing response to that. There’s been a great community response in that aspect.

“It’s been a good start. I’m hoping that as we get more new stock in, people will come back and see all the new stuff that we’re getting.

“I think it’s just getting across that message that it is for you, which has always been a challenge. It’s open to everybody and there is something in there for everyone.”

The Food Collective is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm and is open every Saturday from 24th April. The store can be found within The Angel Centre, 1 St Philip’s Place, Salford, M3 6FA.

They can also be found at: https://theangelcentre.org.uk/food-collective/ and also @thefoodcollectivesalford on Facebook and Instagram.

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