Meet Locavore - Living Wage Employer

Meet Locavore - Living Wage Employer

Locavore (as in carnivore, omnivore..locavore) is a Glasgow based Social Enterprise dedicated to local food and making the food system more sustainable. The business consists of a grocery store on Nithsdale Road in Glasgow’s Southside, a local seasonal veg bag service, a croft (based in a corner of Queens Park Recreation Ground) and a large market garden in Neilston.

Locavore first opened in Shawlands in May 2012 and moved to the current premises in May 2013, adding the croft and the Neilston market garden last year. Locavore are working towards creating a Social Enterprise supermarket. They’re not just about retail however; Locavore also teach gardening at the croft. Ultimately, Locavore are interested in “growing growers”; kick-starting a sustainable local food revolution in Scotland by creating replicable models for sustainable food production and distribution.

In order to bring you as full a picture of the business as possible, we spoke to a member of the Locavore staff , the Managing Director and one of the regular customers as well.

Dorothea “Doro” Warlich (25) is originally from Germany but has lived in Glasgow for a number of years. Doro first came to Locavore on a work placement from college in the spring of 2013 before returning as a casual worker in September the same year and she eventually became a permanent member of staff in February 2014. Doro has a range of responsibilities at Locavore, including working in the shop and getting involved with the teaching sessions at the croft.

Doro said:

“Locavore is a Social Enterprise so I think it’s important to pay a fair wage. The Living Wage means I’ll be able to save up, so I’ll have something to fall back on, and I’m also thinking about taking a trip home to Germany at Christmas.”

Reuben Chesters is Locavore’s founder and Managing Director.

Reuben said:

“I’ve been aware of Living Wage employer accreditation for a long time. Obviously we agree with it, but until recently we couldn’t afford to do it. When you start a business, margins are tight and you can’t even pay yourself Minimum Wage, so you end up paying the staff more than yourself.

“We’ve been through a gradual process of increasing our staff wages – initially we went up to £7.25 – and it’s not been easy to get to a place where we can afford the Living Wage. We’re in a good place now as we’re constantly growing so we recently got to the point where we could pay the Living Wage.

“Once we got to that point, the process for getting accredited was straight forward and easy to understand.

“As a Social Enterprise we exist to do good and paying fairly is part of that. Hopefully accreditation will help for morale and productivity, but I think it’s a good thing in it’s own right. It’s also great that I can now tell people Locavore is a local, organic, Social Enterprise, Living Wage employer. You can’t argue with that!”

Jethro Lennox is a regular customer of Locavore who lives in the local area.

Jethro told us:

“I’m very pleased to hear Locavore has been accredited as a Living Wage employer. We receive a weekly veg bag from Locavore and have always supported their attitude and respect for food. I am more than happy to pay a little more to buy good quality, local produce and to ensure the staff are paid the Living Wage.”

 

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