In 2012 more than 200 local people attended a public meeting in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh to voice their concerns about a supermarket chain moving into the heart of their high street. It became clear there was a real desire among local people to re-establish a community-owned greengrocer in Bruntsfield to complement the other independent shops in the area.
“I’ve been a shareholder since the very beginning and what’s come out of it is more valuable than any profit you can get on a share because it’s created a community.”
Emily Pollack, Member
In January 2013 an emerging team of volunteers set up a formal steering group with the aim of making the community shop a reality. Bruntsfield Community Greengrocer Limited t/a Dig-In Bruntsfield was established as a Community Benefit Society to own and manage the shop. £30,000 was raised through a community share offer, the minimum investment was £25 and the vast majority of investors were from the local area.
“Our aim was to give local residents the chance to invest in and contribute to the local economy and provide a better way for them to feed themselves and their families as part of a wider sustainable food culture in the city.”
A high street fixture
Since doors opened for trading in May 2014 Dig-In has gone from strength to strength, selling a wide variety of local, organic, fresh and seasonal fruit and vegetables as well as wholefoods and groceries.
Working directly to give small scale producers and suppliers a route to market, they are bringing people closer to where their food comes from. They have three paid members of staff, some 30 active volunteers and the shop is open until 7pm 6 days a week.