The Natural Food Store has traded successfully for over 25 years, selling high-quality whole foods, health foods, remedies and supplements as well as a range of other organic, bio-, and niche market goods whose provenance the customer can trust. It is committed to providing a range of high-quality whole food, vegetarian, vegan, organic and allied products.
Customers were dismayed when they learned that Chris and Sue Sharratt, who ran the shop for over 20 years were thinking of retiring. Would yet another Headingley shop become a juice bar or takeaway? Would the range of good quality food shopping outlets dwindle further? Customers decided to fight back. Under the leadership of Headingley Development Trust – a new co-operative – an Industrial and Provident Society- was set up to buy the shop and run the business.
Chris and Sue, who were delighted that the shop would continue and thrive, stayed on as employees to share their skills, knowledge and contacts. A new manager, Stuart McClelland and other staff were appointed.
On Saturday, November 10th 2007 the proud new owners waved their share certificates in the air and celebrated the buy-out of the Natural Food Store on 23 North Lane, Headingley in Leeds. Each investing a minimum of £100 each – some considerably more – members of the new co-operative raised over £100,000 to buy and capitalise the business, which was formally opened by Martin Wainwright, Northern editor of the Guardian.
Martin Wainwright congratulated the new owners – over 200 of them – on their venture. “It is wonderful seeing people taking things into their own hands and I wish the shop every success. I now look forward to the people of Headingley taking over more local provision”.