Autumn 2023 Updates

A Successful Special Members Meeting 21st September

Thanks to those members who attended and those who gave a proxy vote to another member or sent this to our Chair. The meeting was quorate and able to adopt the new set of Rules for governance, with thanks to MC member Marie-Amélie Viatte for working through these with the welcomed support of Community Shares Scotland – huge thanks to Morven at CSS too. 

The Rules lay out governance for Dig-in and can be found on our website. We are in the process of lodging these with the Financial Conduct Authority.

The Special Members Meeting gave members an update on the past 6 months given the challenges we had brought to members and supporters last year in remaining sustainable as a community business. Our chair Amanda Lake opened with a thanks and celebration of the the past few months which had seen Dig-In be able to turn a monthly profit after many months. Our Treasurer, Sue Lane,  introduced the July Management Accounts and the summary accounts for the previous 5 Years, highlighting the issues being addressed by the Management Committee since on-boarding in March this year. 

Will Sohler, MC Retail lead,  gave a Strategic Update and introduction to sales at Dig-in. Members questioned the MC and there was really useful constructive discussion. Following an overview of the proposal from Melanie Mail, the meeting welcomed the decision to run a new share issue to raise funds to take Dig-In forward over the next 5 years, allowing for renovation and modernisation of the shop including a new Electronic Point of Sale system, chillers to keep stock fresh in warm weather and renovation and increased shelving for stock. This is now to be scheduled in early 2024. We were very happy to elect Will Sohler to the Management Committee (see below).

Share issue delayed

As many of you will have heard, Dig-In was planning to run a Share Offer from the end of October to raise much needed funds to develop the business over the next 5 years.

Unfortunately the Management Committee has had to take the decision to delay the new share Offer until hopefully early next year.   We have all agreed that at this point in time, other management committee decisions are taking more time than anticipated, and we would like to run the three week share issue when we can devote all our time to making it a success. 

We know many members were looking forward to the launch and many supporters have expressed interest in joining Dig-In during the Offer and we are very sorry to have to put the offer on hold. 

However this does not prevent anyone purchasing shares now, and becoming a member,  they would like to do so.   You can do so on our website

Introducing Will! 

Will moved to the Bruntsfield area with his wife at the start of 2023. After looking at a few volunteering opportunities, he discovered Dig-In. Will joined at the start of March as a shop volunteer and soon became drawn into the shop’s day to day activities.

Will’s background in sales and marketing has been key to improvements in the shop and increasing sales over 2023. In April he took on responsibility for managing our ever-growing pool of amazing volunteers. Over the summer he spent many hours on the shop floor, build relationships with customers, and test new ways of growing our footfall. He recently agreed to take on the role of Dig-In MC Retail Lead, which involves working closely with the shop staff and shop volunteers to develop the business.

What motivates him to volunteer with Dig-In? 

‘I love rooting for the underdog and we mustn’t underestimate the positive impact shops like Dig-In have on the community. Dig-In will survive and prosper!’

Tasty advent cheer!

What will be your choice this year, Traditional chocolate or tasty teas?

This year we have six lovely Advent Calendars for you and your family to start on 1st December to count down the days to Christmas: Fair trade Divine (Milk and Dark chocolate), H!P Oat Milk, Pukka Tea and 2 designs of Yogi Tea advent calendars. Something for all members of the family. Stock is limited so please visit us soon to avoid disappointment.

Christmas time is traditionally the busiest time in retail on the local high street, and key to success for local shops, like Dig-In. Heaps of other seasonal goodies will be appearing in the shop – hot chocolate, gourmet popcorn, mulled wine and cider spices, chocolate coins, gift sets of Scottish Oils and Seaweed to name a few. We look forward to seeing you in the shop for your seasonal fruit and veg and some
lovely treats .

Sweet potato and black bean chilli with quinoa

A warming plant based chilli, good for you and the planet! Come by to say hi and pick up your ingredients. Thanks for volunteer Pauline for compiling and testing it out! Image above from BBCGoodFood. 

Serves 3
1 tbsp. olive oil or rapeseed oil | 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 in cubes |
1 onion, chopped | 3 cloves garlic, crushed | 1 red chilli, (seeds removed if you don’t like it too hot) and finely chopped |  Small bunch coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped (keep them separate) | 2 tsp ground coriander | 2 tsp ground cumin | 2 tsp chipotle paste | 1 heaped tbsp. yeast extract | 2 cans 400g tomatoes | 400g can black beans | 140g quinoa, cooked according to pack instructions | Zest and juice of 1 lime | 1 tbsp pumpkin seed

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Toss the sweet potatoes with half the oil and some seasoning on a baking tray. Bake for 30 mins, tossing halfway through cooking, until tender.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a pan, add the onion and cook for 5 mins until soft, then add the garlic, chilli and coriander stalks. Cook for a further 2-3 mins, stirring to prevent burning. Sprinkle in the spices, stirring for 1 min more, until aromatic. Add in the chipotle paste (you can get this from Lupe Pintos, down the road!), yeast extract, tomatoes and half a can of water, swirling it around the tin to wash out all the bits of tomato. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, while the sweet potato is cooking, adding a splash more water if it looks too dry. Add the sweet potato, black beans and seasoning to the chilli. Bubble for 5 mins, then taste and adjust the seasoning with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of sugar if it needs it. Meanwhile, stir the lime zest, a squeeze of lime juice, the coriander leaves and the pumpkin seeds into the quinoa.

Toss the avocado in the remaining lime juice as soon as you’ve cut it – this will prevent it turning brown. To serve, divide the quinoa between plates or bowls, top with the chilli and some optional sliced avocado. Recipe from BBC Goodfood here