Diss' Natural Foodstore on target to become town's first worker's Co-op
PUBLISHED: 09:00 01 August 2017
Dedicated shop workers who decided to raise the money to take over an independent store to save it from closure are within reach of reach their all-important £10,000 crowdfunding target.
When staff at The Natural Foodstore in Diss found out current owner of over 25 years, Marian Meiracker, planned to retire in September, they were faced with a choice.
Either see if the business would be taken over by someone else or buy the business themselves.
They chose the latter and, at the beginning of July, launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £10,000 towards the cost of buying the business out in order to turn it into a workers’ cooperative - a first for Diss.
Offering supporters rewards and incentives for pledging money to the project, the team has been astounded by the support it has received from customers and suppliers.
And now, with just days left to raise the required sum and the total at over £8,800, the campaign looks set to meet its target.
Rebecca Everall, who has worked for the business for 15 years and is one of the four employees involved in the takeover, said: “The support we’ve had from customers has been absolutely wonderful. It’s been really lovely.
“When we first launched the campaign it was quite nerve-wracking but I think we’ve been nervously confident and everybody has been so supportive.”
Located in the heart of the Heritage Triangle in Norfolk Yard, The Natural Foodstore specialises in vegetarian, wholefood and vegan-friendly foods.
The current owner, Ms Meiracker, said she thought that it was great that her current employees wanted to take over the business.
“I’m obviously really happy that people have been so generous in supporting the project,” she said.
The next step for the employees will be to finalise paperwork and await confirmation from Company House that the business is a limited company.
The employees will also receive training on running a co-operative and making business decisions.
If all goes to plan, the team hopes for an autumn launch date.