Roll up, roll up, big news!
A new shop in Bletchley
Some more to add to our story.
In March we were forced to bring our plans for Molly’s Pantry forward a lot quicker than we had intended- by about three months. If you are familiar with “our story” you will know that Molly’s Pantry was intended as a part time project whilst I went back to university. Due to Covid income loss we had to think really fast and had to go big or go broke.
Disaster Capitalism pop ups.
We set up in an absolute crisis, we watched “companies” that weren’t registered least of all insured, pop up around us whilst making a quick buck. We kept our heads down and spent many hours ensuring that we were getting the best veg to people at fair prices. We knew that we were planning for the long term, not to make fast money. People cried at us through windows at the sight of fresh accessible food. We took kids Easter eggs (for free) who wouldn’t have otherwise had any whilst others snarked covertly but in public spaces that we were making money out of our community during a crisis. It got quite emotional and intense!
We stuck to our values.
We have consistently stuck to our core values. We have reduced plastic where possible. Kept prices fair whilst supporting our ability to operate along with trying our best not to turn away any one who needed our service- there were a few emergency deliveries at 10pm at night organised by relatives on the other side of the country for elderly people who had been to proud to ask for help. This has built a customer base which has grown into a community. We have laughed and cried with love, sadness and exhaustion throughout. We are so grateful for every single one of you and the consistent support you have afforded us.
As a result we are still here….(where others have cut and run)
Money has been made during the last few months, but not enough to pay us a wage-enough to show us that this is a viable option. We have been able to go from £160 in the back of a car to delivering hundreds of veg boxes, feeding hundreds of families all over Buckinghamshire. We donate all of our not-good-for people waste to animal charities at a time where they are being stretched beyond all belief. We have kept people in our Bletchley street fed (for free) when they have been unable to get out. We have also made several large donations to other public services.
Now things are calming down things have to change.
We can’t operate souly online forever. We can’t use the space we have been lent to use forever. We do, eventually, need to make a wage. So on the theme of thinking fast and flying by the seats of our pants, we have decided to open a physical shop. Because who wants a peaceful life anyway?
A real life physical shop?!
We have secured a unit in Far Bletchley that has its own parking and outside space. It is quite small but suits us perfectly at this stage. We will still offer deliveries but we will also be open by appointment for collections and eventually a “proper” shop. This will also enable us to open our doors to more local producers and be more than just a Greengrocer. We plan to offer zero waste and refill shopping as well as stocking more items made by local people- along with engaging our community.
So what now?
This means that for the next few weeks the deliveries will be condensed into fewer days whilst we move units and settle into the shop. It also means that we will get to meet you at a distance in our lovely outside space. We really can’t wait to put names to faces and also see our old friends who have supported us this far.
When will it all be open?!
The best answer I can give right now is “soon”. We have quite a lot of work to do initially to get things ready along with quite a lot of tidying to do regarding the current landscaping (anyone handy with a hedge trimmer and a paint brush?!). There are two of us doing this on a budget that is tiny and I have a back injury so it will be challenging at the very least. We are also in the same situation as everyone else regarding children and a pandemic. We are real people who are doing our best.
Watch out for further announcements!
As soon as we are ready to open we will be shouting it from the roof tops!!
A big thank you to all of you for being so wonderful, supporting us. Let’s keep going!!! Eat well and be nice to each other.
Much love, Molly’s Pantry!
P.s- we are all over media, come and see us!