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Sustain Food Co-ops Your stories Setting up a food coop - a personal account

Shelves, storage, scoops, scales

Photo credit: Phili Denning

Photo credit: Phili Denning

So what start-up costs will we have in terms of equipment, storage and so on? 

Luckily my partner has a large garage and he has, very generously (his garage is very precious to him!) agreed to give me a corner for storage. This means I can order items in bulk and anything that is not collected in the initial order can be stored for use in future orders.

But these things need to be stored properly, so what do I need? 

  1. Heavy duty shelving that will keep the products off the ground
  2. Airtight plastic storage containers in a variety of sizes including some very large ones. 
  3. Scoops 
  4. Decent scales which can weigh at least up to 5kg 
  5. Taps for cleaning the bulk product containers

It’s not a huge amount of stuff and most of it can be sourced on eBay relatively cheaply but it still comes to a few hundred pounds. I’m happy to bear this cost for my group but it is something that needs to be factored in when thinking of starting up.

Again the Food Co-ops toolkit is a good resource here.

In my case I am also going to be over ordering so that we can buy in larger bulk sizes. Any extra that is ordered will be paid for and stored by me initially so I have had to factor that into my initial cost calculations. Assuming all goes well I plan to recoup this money through subsequent orders.

​​Read the next stage in Phili's journey: Now I need people!

Find out what inspired Phili to start her food co-op journey


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