The People’s Supermarket, a community-driven, cooperatively-run store in Lamb’s Conduit Street, has been saved from imminent closure by a last minute loan. The celebrated supermarket, which had been welcomed (not least by David Cameron) as a revolutionary social enterprise when it opened two years ago, had been about to close its doors after facing arrears of £31,000 in unpaid business rates from 2010/11 and 2011/12. Camden Council had already instructed bailiffs to secure the debts, but on March 1, hours before a staff meeting to finalise the closure was about to take place, the store received news that Fredericks Foundation, a charity that supports small businesses, had stepped in to pay the outstanding rates. ‘We are very, very happy,‘ said Andy Leach, the supermarket’s commercial manager. ‘We will not be closing in the foreseeable future. This has given us a breathing space to plan how we move forward with the business.’ The supermarket is run by members who volunteer to work there for four hours per month (alongside 23 permanent staff) for a 20 per cent discount on their shopping. It aims to cut down on waste and encourage a community spirit. Plans for a similar supermarket in Homerton are still on track. Rebecca Taylor
For info, see thepeoplessupermarket.org. Haven’t been yet? They are hosting a Bake Off this Thursday March 8 (11.30am-1pm) with judges including Dhruv Baker (Masterchef 2010 winner), Imthiaz Kader (Head Chef at Park Plaza Hotel), Lisa Brook (MD of Flour Power City Bakery). If you are a master baker, enter now.