Dig-in Spring Newsletter – new faces, veggies and updates!

We are delighted to welcome Maxime Swift, a previous Dig-In volunteer, as our new part-time Shop Supervisor.

Maxime brings experience in food network and sustainability projects – she has been involved in the student-led social enterprise Slurp Edinburgh, which engages individuals affected by homelessness. She is also a Veg Advocate for Scotland with the Peas Please Project, led by Nourish Scotland, who ran a workshop with our team of staff and volunteers last year. Maxime will graduate from Edinburgh University this summer.  Please join us in welcoming Maxime!

We were sorry to say goodbye to Steph Marsden, who has worked with us since March 2019. She is moving up and onwards into an exciting new role with one of our organic suppliers, Locavore Trading. Check out their exciting ‘Bigger Plan‘ which they launched this year.

Spring vegetables – making it through the hungry gap

Lovely seasonal organic purple sprouting broccoli from Yorkshire have been brightening our shelves for a few weeks but will not last long! We have had the start of fabulous organic salad leaves grown locally by the Free Company out by Balerno, currently supplies a bit intermittent but will become more regular as the weather warms up.

We are still stocking wonderful local root veg, dirty carrots from Fife are wonderful as ever, and we still have a good selection of Scottish grown potatoes. Looking forward to local rhubarb soon. Our honey from Midlothian Honey is very popular, expect new season stock as we get into summer.

We are noticing a small price increase overall with fresh fruit and veg, and that some stock may be a slightly longer time in transit, so we are checking our prices carefully, working closely with our suppliers and increasing quality checks. 

Shout out to Dig-In volunteers

You will have seen some new faces behind the till in the last few weeks. Rita, Georgia, Lina, Katie, Zoe and Anna completed the online training in late February and are now busy in shop training – taking on veg box packing and after hours shelving, as well as helping customers in the shop.

Our grateful thanks go to to our long-standing volunteers who have been steadfast in doing shifts weekly throughout lockdown. Some volunteers have stepped back for a bit of a well-deserved break – and we look forward to having them back in the shop.

A massive thank you to everyone who attended our online AGM last month. While we missed having our usual snacks and blethers, it was still lovely to see you all and thanks to everyone who made personalised thank you signs to share on our screens.

We also welcomed Carl Emery to our Management Committee. Carl has been volunteering with Diane, our Treasurer and is excited to get more involved in the financial and business side of things. Welcome Carl!

We are all looking forward to lockdown easing and hopefully we can relax a little over the summer and get to socialise more with friends and family.

Unfortunately social distancing and mask wearing look here to stay for a while, so not much will change in how we shop at Dig-In. We will be back having tastings and outreach events when it is safe to do so!

Thanks for all your support.

The Dig-In team xxx

Our 8th AGM – Greens, Grapefruit & Gratitude

Dig-In Bruntsfield’s 8th AGM – Greens, Grapefruit & Gratitude

Open event – all welcome

Please join us for our 8th Annual General Meeting of Dig-In Bruntsfield, your local community greengrocer.

Monday 8th February 2021 – 7-8pm

This event will be held online, please register by the 6th February below to receive the Zoom link.

We want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to our amazing community, staff and volunteers for everything over the last year.

Come hear how we have fared, the obvious recent challenges, potential implications of Brexit (greens vs grapefruit?) and our plans to ensure the sustainability of the shop on our high street.

Register here.

Annual report and accounts

You can view our draft accounts with annual report here which we will talk through in more detail at the AGM.

You can also view the minutes of last year’s AGM here.

We will go through formal business of the AGM; the election of new Management Committee members and any motions.

Nominations for the Management Committee

It has been a tough year for all of us and we would welcome fresh energy from our community to join the Management Committee at this time. It would be especially great to have people with interest or experience in HR, managing staff and volunteers and in IT but welcome anyone who is keen to get on board.

If you’re interested in joining us, please send a short statement on your experience and motivations to our Chair – isla@diginbruntsfield.co.uk – by 6th February 2021. We are happy to chat to folk who may be interested in advance of the AGM, just get in touch.

Motions

If you wish to raise any constitutional issues at the AGM, you can raise a motion by sending an email to our Chair – isla@diginbruntsfield.co.uk – by 6th February 2021.

Seasons greetings from all of us at Dig-In Bruntsfield!

We want to take this opportunity to wish our community, our members, supporters and shoppers a happy and healthy festive season. It has been a year like no other and we want to take this moment to reflect on the last 9 months, and express our gratitude for everyone that has been part of our ongoing resilience and enabled us to continue to be your local high street greengrocer.

A BIG THANK YOU to…

…our incredible staff team: Morag Deans, Claire Hutchins, Steph Marsden, Struan Johnston and Lina Alkhatib (welcome to our team!). Your hard work, dedication, flexibility and support for each other has meant we haven’t had to close the shop once since the pandemic started. The shelves have been stocked and volunteers supported in adjusting to new rhythms and systems. You’ve been working away behind the scenes, doing all the things that need doing to keep our doors open, with such a positive and can do attitude. 

…our volunteers: those serving customers, making deliveries to those in need, on our Management Committee, keeping track of the ever changing guidelines and legislation and supporting the staff to make their jobs as safe as possible. Especially our new MC members Fiona Liddle and Ann McFall, who joined us at the last AGM, just before the pandemic hit, and have yet to join a physical meeting!

…our trusty suppliers: from old stalwarts Greencity Wholefoods to new start-ups Untitled Oats and Cave Coffee, we have been so grateful to our key food workers across the supply chain, in the fields, factories, warehouses and delivery vans, keeping our shelves stocked.

…our community and customers, for being patient as we brought in new systems and increased queuing times, for being kind and good humoured with our team and your ongoing support. THANK YOU ALL!

Fruit and Veg Boxes

Beautiful painting from one of our lovely veg box customers.

From being a relatively discreet part of our business for the last few years, our veg box subscriptions increased hugely at the beginning of lockdown. We went from doing about 15 veg boxes per week in March to about 55 per week in May. 30% of those veg boxes were deliveries, at no extra cost, by staff and volunteers, to those shielding at home. This meant closing the shop to regular shopping on Fridays as our wee shop couldn’t fit all the boxes and humans in at once. 

While some of you have been itching to get back into the shop once restrictions eased, we have seen box numbers decrease and we are glad to now be open again to regular shopping on Friday. We are happy to continue this service for those who prefer it. 

Winter Updates

Sunday openings up to Christmas

We know with the cold, dark and dreich winter weather, queuing outside is distinctly less fun than in the summer. We have decided to open from 12-4pm on Sundays in the lead up to Christmas to give everyone more space and time to pick up their Christmas shopping. 

Pre-order your Christmas veg

As in previous years, you will be able to pre-order your Christmas veg, just ask in the shop for a form or fill in and email to us at orders@diginbruntsfield.co.uk

Quiet times for shopping

If you are wanting to pop in and are worried about queuing or waiting, we tend to be quieter on weekday mornings and Sunday afternoons.

Christmas Opening Hours


What’s coming up in 2021?

Save the Date!

Dig-In’s 8th AGM – Greens, Grapefruit and Gratitude

8th February 2021 – 7-9pm – online 

We are looking for new Management Committee members and any motions. 

Register via the Eventbrite page.

How are we faring?

Our financial year end was at the end of August 2020. Our draft annual accounts will be made available to members for approval at the AGM. 

Whilst the annual accounts are not yet finalised, we wanted to share with you that despite the challenges of the past few months we did see a sales increase of 13% compared to the previous year which underlines how important Dig-In continues to be to the community. 

We are incredibly grateful we have not had to close our doors this year and while our costs have also seen a significant increase, we are anticipating a small profit for the year.

Contribution to Edinburgh Food Social

We are collecting donations in the shop for Edinburgh Food Social, who are delivering nutritious dinners to as many folk as possible, with a specific drive over the Christmas period. We’ve agreed to match fund up to £100 raised through the collection as well. 

All our love,

All the team at Dig-In xxx

Ann with our DIY donation box for Edinburgh Food Social.


Dig In Opening hours wef September 2020

We’ve now extended our opening hours on the days we make up our veg boxes in order to allow extended public access to the shop on Thursdays and Fridays. A big thanks to our staff and volunteers who have amended their shifts to start earlier in order to allow us to do this!

Opening hours are now as follows:

Monday – Wednesday: 10 am – 6 pm 
Thursday: 10 am – 6 pm
Friday: 11 am – 6 pm
Saturday: 
10.00 am – 5 pm
Sunday: Closed

Please note: We also close the shop while we process deliveries and to clean and re-stock the shelves (often around lunch-time). When we do this we will put our expected opening time on the clock on our door.
Opening hours are subject to change at short notice due to staff and volunteer availability. Keep an eye on the door and our Facebook page for regular updates.

Dig-In Opening Hours July update

After discussion with staff and volunteers, we are now able to slightly extend our open hours to make the shop accessible to the public once again on a Friday afternoon.

New Opening hours wef 20/07/2020

Monday – Wednesday: 10 am – 6 pm 
Thursday: 11 am – 6 pm
Friday: 2 pm – 6 pm
Saturday: 
10.00 am – 5 pm
Sunday: Closed

Please note: We also close the shop while we process deliveries and to clean and re-stock the shelves (often around lunch-time). When we do this we will put our expected opening time on the clock on our door.
Opening hours are subject to change at short notice due to staff and volunteer availability. Keep an eye on the door and our Facebook page for regular updates.

We thank you for your continued support and co-operation over the past months as we have implemented changes to keep Dig-In open and operating safely. We would also like to remind all shop customers that is essential to continue to follow governmental guidance in wearing face coverings and to enact 2 metres social – distancing whilst within the shop, to keep our volunteer workers and community as safe as possible.

Many thanks

Dig-In Staff and Management Committee

Dig-In open sign

Changes to Dig-In Opening Hours & Veg Bag Collection

After discussion with staff and volunteers, we want to make the Dig-In shopping experience safer and better for all customers with less waiting time, and manage our vegbag collections more effectively. Therefore, we are setting aside some time for Fruit/Veg Bag collection only.

Dig-In will be closed to the public and regular shoppers on Fridays from May 8th, with pre-ordered Fruit/Veg bags being made up for local delivery and collection.

Customers collecting their exisiting orders will be restricted to the front of shop area, with one customer admitted at a time. Those collecting will also be able to purchase 3 additional items.

If you currently collect a veg box from us on a Friday, we will be in touch shortly to confirm your two-hour collection slot.

Due to unprecedented demand, we are currently not accepting new veg box customer requests, but plan to reopen our registration system soon. Please keep an eye on our Veg Box page for details.

New Opening hours (wef 4/05/2020)

Monday – Wednesday: 10am – 6pm 
On these days we also usually close at 1pm for cleaning/lunch
Thursday: 12.30am (approx) – 6pm
Friday: Closed to public
Saturday: 
10.00am – 5pm
Sunday: Closed

Please note: We also close the shop while we process deliveries and to clean and re-stock the shelves (often around lunch-time).
Opening hours are subject to change at short notice due to staff and volunteer availability. Keep an eye on the door and our Facebook page for regular updates.

We thank you for your continued support and co-operation over the past weeks and as we implement these changes.

We would also like to take this opportunity to remind all shop customers that is essential to continue to follow governmental guidance and enact 2 metres social – distancing whilst within the shop, to keep our volunteer workers as safe as possible.

Many thanks

Dig-In Staff and Management Committee

Deliveries – remote payments – changes to opening hours

Deliveries – remote payments – changes to opening hours

We hope you are all well and are grateful for your patience as we have adapted operations in the shop recently.

If you are able to come to the shop, please do, as we have limited capacity for deliveries. If you would like to pre-order and pre-pay for a fruit and veg box to speed up your visit, see here.

Food deliveries

We want to support more self-isolating or vulnerable people in Bruntsfield and nearby communities to get their groceries.

We can supply fresh fruit and veg bags (organic and non-organic options) at different sizes – £8, £16, £24 and add essentials: bread, milk and eggs.

Our volunteers are delivering on Fridays to Bruntsfield and local communities including Morningside, Marchmont, Polwarth, Merchiston, Shandon and Grange. To order a veg bag or a delivery, download our order form and email it to us at orders@diginbruntsfield.co.uk and wait for confirmation.  

Supporters Account 

To make it easier to shop for yourself and others you can get a Dig-In Supporters Account. The card can be topped up by bank transfer, so a volunteer or friend can pay for your shopping or you can pay remotely if you are getting a delivery.

Changes to opening hours 

We are closing the shop while we get deliveries and to clean and re-stock the shelves (often around lunch-time).

Monday – Wednesday: 10am – 6pm 
On these days we also usually close at 1pm for cleaning/lunch
Thursday- Friday: 11.30am – 6pm
Saturday: 11.30am – 5pm
Sunday: closed

Opening hours are subject to change at short notice due to staff and volunteer availability. Keep an eye on the door and our Facebook page for regular updates.

Dig-In COVID-19 Update (20/03/2020)

Dig-In COVID-19 Update (20/03/2020)

Thank you to our community for being so understanding in what have been the most challenging few weeks we’ve ever seen at Dig-In. We are working towards maintaining trading throughout this difficult time and while we protect our amazing team of staff and volunteers, bring in new processes and ramp up our veg box offerings, we only ask that you are patient.

If you have sent in a veg box form, please wait until you have had confirmation from us before you come to pick it up. Bear with us while we try carve out a new normal so we can ensure we can weather this crisis and be back to our bustling wee shop on the other side. 

Covid-19 Update

Dear Dig-In community and shareholders,

The Dig-In Management Committee and staff have been in regular communication over the past few days to ensure we are taking all possible precautions to keep staff, volunteers and the community safe during the Covid-19 crisis. We are aware the situation is constantly in flux and, so are regularly checking government advice and are planning accordingly.  

Some key changes we have brought in (subject to change):

Please be mindful when visiting Dig-In and avoid buying in bulk wherever necessary, so we can ensure our whole community has access to food. We are limiting the purchase of wholefoods/grocery items to two items per person. This does not include individual fruit/veg items.

Additionally, as our shop is small and we are having a high visitor turnout we ask you to restrict numbers in the shop to only two customers at a time. Please wait outside until someone has left.

If you can, please pay by credit/debit card or with your supporters account. We want to minimise cash handling as far as possible.

If you have any symptoms, please do not come into the shop.

We are also aware that members of our community may be affected in different ways, so we are being flexible with our veg box scheme and are offering deliveries to those in need.

We want to reassure you that we are doing as much as we can in the circumstances. Priority areas:

1. Volunteers

We have communicated to volunteers that our primary concern is their health and safety and that they should not feel duty-bound to act at risk to their own physical or mental health well-being. Because of this, we may need to close intermittently or change our core opening hours to allow for regular breaks. Additionally, we have given guidance on what procedures to follow if they feel unwell. We anticipate a need for additional support so would ask anyone who wishes to offer voluntary help to fill in our volunteer application form on our website, so we can assess what support we may have should this need arise. 

2. Staff 

A plan has been written up to make sure we’re looking after staff in the event of sickness or self-isolation. Our current sick pay policy applies to all staff and allows for up to two weeks (pro-rata) of full pay before Statutory Sick Pay starts. If we have to close the business or operate on reduced hours, we will still pay all staff for their contracted hours. We are investigating government assistance available to support our staff team.

3. Training

We remain committed to ensuring that all staff and volunteers are kept in the loop with our plans and communications, and adequately trained to deal with the new measures we are operating within the business.

4. Stock 

Due to higher sales, we have streamlined some of our ranges to ensure we have adequate stock of some of our bestselling daily and pantry essentials. Please consider others and buy considerately.

5. Food handling

We have put in place additional daily hygiene practices to reduce food handling, and these will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Currently, there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of the virus. All staff and volunteers now wear vinyl gloves when handling food or cash. We would appreciate your support in using our contactless payment system wherever possible. 

6. Suppliers 

We understand the increased demand for some of our suppliers and wish to help support and strengthen these local food supply networks, wherever possible. Therefore, despite our increased workload, we are committed to ensuring that our administrative procedures and supplier payments remain a priority.   

And finally…

As the situation is evolving, we are grateful to have built up reserves over the last couple of years to weather us through some storms and at the moment we are hopeful to not need any significant injections of cash to keep the business afloat. We will, however, be suspending share withdrawals at this time. 

We would like to give a big thank you (and a virtual hug) to our staff and volunteers for the very hard work they have contributed at Dig In over the past couple of weeks. The management committee acknowledges the additional risk that working to keep our community-owned enterprise open and stocked with food from our local and sustainable suppliers poses. We want to assure the community we are taking this very seriously and researching various options in which we can support reduced contact within the shop, whilst still serving the community, and supporting local food supply chains.

It is in difficult times like these when the community pulls together and local businesses can shine as examples for community resilience.  Owned by the community and run for the community: we hope to continue to supply you with groceries with respect for our community and with good humour. If you think you can help us on this journey please do help us by becoming a (shareholding) member of Dig-In  or registering your interest in volunteering, or both!

Dig-in Staff and Management Committee

Dig In’s 7th AGM – Hopes for a Better Food Future

Dig In’s 7th AGM – Hopes for a Better Food Future

Open event – all welcome – Monday 10th February 2020 – 6-8pm

Christ Church Centre, 6a Morningside Road, Edinburgh, EH10 4DD

Please join us for our 7th Annual General Meeting of Dig-In Bruntsfield, your local community greengrocer. Come hear how things have gone over the last financial year and plans for the year ahead. We’ll be publishing our draft accounts to all members in advance of the meeting.

We are also delighted to be joined by Sarah-Jane Allsop from Castle Douglas Community Forum who recently took on their own community owned tourist information centre and shop ‘Heart of Galloway’ and are committed to making Castle Douglas a good food town and working closely with food producers and local retailers.

We’ll have the usual snacks and drinks and will finish up the evening with a facilitated group discussion on ‘Hopes for a Better Food Future’ – considering how we engage with COP coming to Scotland and our voice on the ongoing climate emergency. You can read about our volunteer Fiona’s latest vision of our ‘Game Plan for a Good Food Nation’ in our blog.

Register here and receive updates on further details.

Read more

Interested in volunteering and community greengrocering? Join our team!

Interested in volunteering and community greengrocering? Join our team!

Join our team! We are seeking new Management Committee members, these are voluntary positions and are a great opportunity to learn more about how our community shop works in practice and make a positive contribution to our community.  You can read our Dig-In Strategy 2021 for more info. Contact isla@diginbruntsfield.co.uk for more information.

Community Engagement

We’re actively looking for someone this year to take forward our publicity and community engagement parts of our strategy. You will have:

  • Experience using different channels to communicate messages and engage customers;
  • Ideas to improve the way we engage with the community through events with staff and volunteers;
  • A strong commitment to Dig In’s values.

With support from staff and other volunteers, you will have responsibility for:

  • Supporting staff and MC to write and design news articles and newsletters (using Mailchimp and WordPress)
  • Regular contribution to our social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook);
  • Supporting staff and volunteers with community events (Programme TBC)
  • Attending monthly Management Committee meetings (2 hours per month);
  • Participating in the Annual General Meeting (usually held in February).

Volunteer Champion

We’re actively looking for a new volunteer champion to support in our goal to be a wonderful place to work and volunteer. We are interested in applications from fresh faces and existing volunteers who are looking to broaden their involvement with the running of Dig-In. You will have:

  • Experience in working with people to develop their confidence, skills and aspirations;
  • Interest in working with and training volunteers to encourage participation in a broad range of our activities (behind the scenes as well as behind the counter!)
  • A strong commitment to Dig In’s values.

With support from staff and the Management Committee, our Volunteer Champion will have shared responsibility to:

  • Deliver volunteer training events throughout the year for new and existing volunteers to upskill them and build confidence;
  • Take a fresh look at how we better support volunteers through their journey with us and improve communications between staff, the committee and other volunteers;
  • Organise occasional volunteer events and socials;
  • Attend monthly Management Committee meetings (2 hours per month);
  • Participate in the Annual General Meeting (usually held in February).

Good all rounders!

We’re also welcoming applications from those who have an interest in sustainable food, retail and community enterprise who would like to contribute to the continuing success of our enterprise as we reach 6 years of trading on Bruntsfield Place.

You could have an interest, skills or experience in:

  • Sustainable food systems in Scotland, cooking, baking, growing or supply chainsBag of organic carrots
  • HR, finance, business and retailing
  • Organisation and governance of community enterprises and knowledge of community shares
  • A strong commitment to Dig In’s values.

Management Committee members have a responsibility to:

  • Contribute on average 1 hour/week in your specific area of choice;
  • Attend monthly Management Committee meetings (2hrs per month);
  • Participate in the Annual General Meeting (usually held in February).

 

New Management Committee members are normally elected at our AGM which is coming up on Monday 10th February 2020. To give prospective committee members an opportunity to find out more before committing to joining we are encouraging people to get in touch in advance.

Just drop our Chairperson Isla McCulloch an email on isla@diginbruntsfield.co.uk and she will arrange an informal meeting or call with relevant staff and MC members to chat through the role in more detail. To allow enough time for this, we’d appreciate any notes of interest by Monday 13th January  and you would be invited to join us on the 20th January at our Management Committee meeting to find out more. Please include in your email a short paragraph outlining which role you feel most suitable for and why.

We look forward to hearing from you!