By Charlotte Hawkins
I often think about how lucky I am to have a shop like True Food on the doorstep. The fruit and veg taste great. I can buy dried foods loose so I can get as much or as little as I need, and True Food stocks a diverse range of organic food items and household goods that I can’t buy anywhere else.
But that’s not the only reason I shop at True Food. It matters to me where my food comes from and how it is produced, so it is reassuring to know that everything I buy at True Food will have been produced in a way which will benefit my health and the environment. I can also be sure that it is sourced in a way that I find ethically acceptable, from considerations of carbon footprint to giving growers and suppliers a fair deal. This is a guarantee that no supermarket can offer to the extent that True Food does, despite marketing claims that try to persuade us otherwise. True Food isn’t the only food co-operative, but outside London they are rare. That not-for-profit organisations like ours are not ubiquitous makes True Food all the more precious, and worth making the effort to support.
Why isn’t True Food located in Reading town centre?
It would be fantastic for True Food to have a presence in Reading town centre, but on a practical level this would be hard to achieve without property rental prices of a prime retail area having the knock-on effect of pushing True Food’s prices prohibitively high.
However, for an out-of-town premises, True Food’s site is ideal: There is easy parking outside the shop for bicycles and cars. If you live close to the town centre True Food is lucky to have the number 24 bus stop from central Reading a stone’s throw across the road.
Interested in car sharing?
Sadly though, for people who share True Food’s values but don’t live within easy reach of the shop, it can be more challenging to get there.
“One of True Food’s biggest strengths is its community.”
This could be used to great effect if shoppers who are able to travel to True Food by car are able to give lifts to people who would like to shop at True Food, but aren’t able to get there. Next time you come to the shop, why not offer to bring a neighbour or friend along, or put a note offering a lift from where you live on the shop notice board, or ask us to include your contact details for lift sharing in the weekly email? It’s a fantastic opportunity to get to know people better and sharing lifts would, of course, be of benefit to the environment as well as create bonds within our True Food community.