The Natural Food Store Limited is an Industrial and Provident society, a co-operative owned by members of the community.
The mission of the society is to run, develop and expand a valuable and valued business in Headingley for the benefit of the community and a wide body of loyal customers. It aims to provide an excellent service, making its offer available for the existing customers and also many new ones – keen on healthy food, wanting in many cases to shop on foot and wanting to see a diversity of food provision in their locality.
In 2007 the previous owner managers decided to retire and offered to sell it to their customers. With the help of Headingley Development Trust a new cooperative was created which now has over 200 members – each investing capital into the business through a community share issue. The committed staff team currently include the former owners who are passing on their extensive knowledge to the new manger to ensure long term sustainability of the business. All are passionate about providing excellent service, information and advice on the rich range of products, including remedies. The cooperative is run by an elected Board of Directors who are responsible for employing the staff and agreeing the future direction of the business.
The co-operative aims:
- to develop and expand a store that offers food and other goods that people increasingly want to buy and for which there is a growing market
- to ensure that the number of independent food retailers does not diminish – and indeed help others to thrive
- to provide a retail outlet that people can walk to or access easily by public transport
- to inspire and attract other independent retailers to the area
- to promote the value and viability of community-led initiatives as the antidote to supermarket dominance
- to give reality to the sense of Headingley as a community through a shared enterprise.
We are building a strong and supportive community of interest around the shop. Members will shop there, encourage others to shop there and are vital to its success. Members can influence the strategic direction of the business in a variety of ways: by taking part in general meetings and elections to the board of directors and by giving feedback and ideas to the board of directors.