community shop

Community shop founders are committed to expanding into more areas

The UK’s first social supermarket chain Community Shop has passed the £1m annual turnover mark.

Founded in 2013 by Company Shop, the UK’s largest redistributor of surplus food and products, the social enterprise piloted its first stores in Goldthorpe, Barnsley and Lambeth, London and has now begun scaling up, opening two new stores in the past year in Athersley, Yorkshire and Grimsby, Lincolnshire.

Founder and chairman John Marren said the company was committed to expanding Community Shop into more communities across the UK, and identified the north west as the next target region.

Marren outlined plans to widen partnerships across the food industry, to educate retailers, manufacturers and brands about the “huge potential” in their surplus stock.

The social enterprise has also announced Shore Capital analyst Clive Black will join its board as a non-executive director.

Grocer columnist Black is co-founder, director and head of research for Shore Capital Markets, former executive at Northern Foods and head of food policy at the NFU.

Marren said: “We are delighted to bring Clive Black on to Community Shop’s board, as we plan for the next phase of growth for our social enterprise. We are committed to serving the food industry and unlocking the full potential in surplus stock, to support deprived communities across the UK. With the right partners on board, and through cross-industry collaboration, I know we can achieve this.”

Black added: “Community Shop is an inspirational organisation run by inspirational people for inspirational communities, the latter of whom have often fallen on tough times. The organisation acts as a force for good; from the reduction of food waste, to enabling members to help themselves to get their lives back on track. It is a privilege to work with John Marren and his team and I look forward to making a positive contribution as Community Shop continues to expand across the UK.”