Who is New Leaf?
New Leaf Co-op is a shop that was established in 2012 that specialises in good quality, responsibly sourced foods and home products, aiming to make them as accessible as possible. They offer an extensive range of organic, vegan and low-packaged products and aim to support local producers whilst cultivating good relationships with their customer base and the local community.
They are known for being a hub in the community; a fun, kind and welcoming place for people. They differentiate themselves from the competition by knowing their customers’ names; taking time to chat with them and explain how things work and are transparent in their approach. Despite the challenges around cost in the retail sector they strive to keep cost competitive.
The co-op currently has six members: Jo, Rosa, Sally, Beth, Katherine and Chiara. Their experience jointly provides a blend of knowledge in health foods, community support and care, art and art therapy, and environmental and cultural study.
The New Leaf team is completed by 7 much valued staff members and 3 amazing volunteers, all of whom are an integral part of running the shop and supporting the community.
Why was a co-op the right option?
The co-op founders originally chose the structure of a workers’ co-op as they saw advantages to running a business with a structure that allows for a wider pool of staff skills, greater autonomy for a better working environment, mutual support, and aims beyond the simple pursuit of profit.
The co-operative model is an excellent way of offering an alternative to supermarket-led systems of food production and supply.
It’s an approach that offers affordability and delivers on social aims whilst allowing members to maintain control over the terms of their own employment.
The members value the kindness and consideration that this structure offers, and how it breaks down the divides between work, happiness and health.
Support from Co-operative Development Scotland.
The members approached Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) in 2022 to help them develop their strategy. CDS provided support around business plan development, financial planning and marketing strategy. This will help New Leaf to continue to grow, helping them build on their success to date.
CDS can help new co-ops during their start-up phase as well as providing support to existing co-ops at any point in their journey.
If you would like to access support to set up or develop your co-op, please get in touch using the link below.