Saturday 8th September saw the official opening of Stirchley Stores. The result of many months of hard work by those involved in the project.
Stirchley Stores (formerly the South Birmingham Food Co-op) is a workers owned cooperative, which means that it is owned by the volunteers who work for the shop. Members must pay a nominal £1 annual subscription and commit to volunteering 4 hours a month. In return, members receive a discount on anything in the shop, allowing them the opportunity to buy food at cost price.
The shop is being run in partnership with Loaf, a local social enterprise bakery, with similar values to Stirchley Stores and who will also be based at the shop. Those already familiar with Loaf will be pleased to know that their bread will be on sale in the store!
All to often it is only those who can afford it that can shop sustainably and ethically, and that's one of the great things about Stirchley Stores, its main aim is to provide ethically sourced healthy food and household products at a more affordable price, offering an ethical alternative to the supermarkets. The members are also hoping that they can be a part of the rejuvination of Stirchley High Street, which has struggled in the past, with many local business closing down.
The cooperative look to be on the way to achieving their aim, with queues of people waiting to get into the shop for the grand opening. According to the organisers, there was a lot of community support, with many new volunteers for the shop signed up on the day. Accompanying the opening of the shop was a pop-up bar run by Stirchley Wines, as well as pizza baking by Loaf in their bread oven.
Stirchley Stores need vounteers for shifts in the shop, as well as people for specific roles within the co-op and on the management committee. If you're interested in getting involved then email
For more information about Stirchley Stores including opening times then check out their website www.stirchleystores.co.uk