In 2012 more than 200 local residents of Bruntsfield attended a public meeting to voice their concerns that a supermarket chain had bought out Peckhams delicatessen/wholefoods store in the heart of Bruntsfield Place. It was apparent that there was a real desire among local people to re-establish a greengrocer in Bruntsfield to complement the other independent shops in the area.
In January 2013 an emerging team of volunteers set up a formal steering group with the aim of making the community shop a reality. The Co-operative Enterprise Hub agreed to provide start-up support and guidance. A public meeting was held in March 2013 with over 50 local people in attendance, showing overwhelming support for the project.
Over the next six months the steering group expanded to bring on board local residents with different perspectives and skills: A web and social media presence was set up and a mailing list with monthly newsletter created; market research was conducted house to house, online and in the high street; competition was analysed; volunteers travelled across Scotland to visit similar ventures and took advice from other co-operatives, suppliers and professionals; financial projections, operating models and concept and design were developed.
With a combination of funds raised from sale of shares to the public and grant funding, Dig In Community Greengrocer raised £30,000 and opened for trading on the 1st May 2014. The first AGM was held on the 17 June 2014 to elect a Management Committee.
Now in its fourth year of operation, the shop currently has three paid staff members and some 30 active volunteers.