A new waste food shop is opening up in Stoke-on-Trent, dedicated to selling foods which are past their sell-by date but still within their use-by.
37-year-old mother Nikki Bartlett was inspired to open the store franchise after seeing success of the brand in Newquay.
Help for families
Nikki wanted to do something that would help struggling families in her local area. Rather than holding a charity event or a one-time fundraiser, she decided to make a difference in a way that would last – by opening up a discount food store.
The Affordable Food franchise focuses on making sure that people who struggle to eat can afford decent meals with the stock that they bring in.
Starting in 2015, Affordable Foods works with the supply chain, wholesalers, and retailers like Morrisons to get food which is edible but out of its sell-by date. Nikki purchases the food from these sources at cost and then sells them on to customers, at as much as 50p off the normal retail price. She is all set to go, with one notable exception: she still needs a place to sell from. She is now appealing for help to find a location which will suit the shop.
Nikki said: “Families can end up struggling for different reasons, whether that is because they’ve been ill and off work or maybe their benefits have been stopped for a while. But at the same time, they don’t always qualify for foodbanks. We are really keen to get this up and running, but we are struggling to find a place to set up.”
She isn’t fussy about location, but needs a space of at least 1,000 square feet. Once established, she will be selling dried foods in tins and packets, frozen items, confectionary, shampoos and conditioners, and nappies.
People in food jobs might be better placed to find an empty location for the business. If you can think of anywhere suitable, you are requested to email Nikki at email@example.com.
Inspired to help
Nikki, of Allenby Square, Trent Vale, said: “Waste food is the bane of my life. A while back my husband, Duane, and I were in Aldi and one of the staff was putting all of this out-of-date food in a box. I asked her what was going to happen to it and she said it was going in the bin and I couldn’t believe it. It was heartbreaking. There was so much food going to waste, food that could really make a difference to some families. A few months later, we came across Affordable Foods on the internet and we were really keen to get involved.”
It’s clear that this is a work of passion for her, something that she wants to do in order to give back to the local community and help those in need.
She added: “There’s nothing like this around the area and it’s a shame because it could help so many people. We would also be able to take some of the pressure off the foodbanks. We want to hear from anyone who has or knows of a suitable premises. For us, this has never been about making money, it’s about bringing people together and helping the community.”
Scott Danks, whose daughter Charlotte founded the business, said: “Nikki and Duane are really keen to get this up and running in Stoke-on-Trent and we are supporting them as much as we can as part of our plan to expand into other parts of the country. We need the people of Stoke-on-Trent to help us to secure a premises so we can get this up and running.”