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Unicorn News

Veg News 10th Jan 2017

All back to normal this week, with business-as-usual for growers, hauliers and grocers alike!
Damp conditions in Spain are proving problematic for Spanish broccoli growers, with many plants being affected by the fungal disease botrytis. Fortunately there’s a stunning range of UK winter brassicas to choose from in the potential absence of broccoli...
Kale, sprouts, savoys and cauliflowers are all still relatively abundant. There’s also a good supply of purple-sprouting-broccoli & cavolo nero at the beginning of the week. New to the range are the first flower sprouts of the season from Newfield Organic in North Yorkshire. A cross between kale & Brussels sprouts, they carry a mild sweetness and have gained popularity with staff and customers alike over the past 3 years.
A few things to make the most of in the coming weeks:
• Paul Ward’s Kentish conference pears (a stunning season is drawing to a close)
• French spinach, coriander & lettuces from Uni-Vert in Provence… a cold-snap in Europe will inevitably lead to slow down in such sensitive crops

Last Modified - 10th January 2017


Veg News 5th Jan 2017

Logistically it’s back to normal from now after the change in deliveries over the festive period….
Cabbages, kales, and cauliflowers will be plentiful all week, alongside European citrus (at its best just now) giving us a fine start to 2017.
There’s still a gap on local salad leaves for a few more weeks from our (most) local growers, Glebelands, but an unexpected late delivery of rocket, watercress, and spinach beet from Libby Flintoff near Preston fills the start of the week nicely. Also we’ll have lettuces from French Co-op ‘Univert’ all week, and Lancashire Little Gems from Duncan Gielty’s polytunnels for the weekend.
Scottish washed carrots are back, and there’s still a great array of squash on the shelves after a good season.

Last Modified - 5th January 2017

Veg News Dec 19th 2016

Christmas week’s upon us, and happy to report there should be a comprehensive range of Christmas staples. With logistics running normally, anticipate regular deliveries throughout the week and a great selection whichever day you choose to shop!

As the week progresses, you’ll see popular Christmas lines such as parsnips & sprouts available to buy on your way into the shop… all part of trying to avoid the inevitable blockage around our potatoes!!!

Talking potatoes, this week’s range is pretty special. Lots of detailed info on the potato board in-store, but 5 of the 8 varieties (Arran Victory, Rudolph, Picasso, Carolus & Marfona) make excellent roasties.

Expect a pre-Christmas treat from Italy in the form of new season blood oranges.

Thanks for your continued custom, and have a fantastic Christmas!

Last Modified - 19th December 2016

Grow a Grocery visit, Tuesday 8th November

Want to grow a grocery co-operative?

Come along to a free study day this November! As a workers' co-operative, we are keen to do what we can to support the establishment and growth of like-minded co-ops and social enterprises, who seek to provide affordable, wholesome, well-sourced food to their local communities.

Whether you’re looking to start-up, scale up, or simply spend time with a like-minded business, come and join us for a day covering all the key aspects of how we operate.

The study visit will include a tour of the shop and site plus meetings with co-op members involved in buying, HR, marketing and co-op structure.

Tuesday 8th November, 10 - 3, at Unicorn Grocery, 89 Albany Road, M21 0BN.

Email Leah@unicorn-grocery.coop for details and to book.

Last Modified - 19th September 2016

Visiting our Stockport tomatoes!

We loved seeing where our Stockport tomatoes are coming from yesterday on a visit to Glebelands Growers' new site at Woodbank Park.

Long celebrated by their customers as a model for sustainable urban food production, Glebelands have almost doubled in size in the last year, adding the new site to their existing one by the River Mersey in Sale. Their successful evolution is thanks to a highly skilled and incredibly dedicated team of co-op members who not only not how to grow amazing veg, but also know how to grow a sustainable business.

We’ve been really proud to help support their strategic vision by linking the co-op to a loyal and engaged customer base (YOU!!!), and providing some investment to help turn their vision into a reality. The ventilation system we helped purchase at Woodbank means they can benefit from the advantages of undercover growing without having to be there all the time to manually control the temperature. This is turn means they can split their time between two sites and produce lots more local organic veg!

Winter is when we'll particularly notice the difference in terms of our veg range - we'll have UK salad leaves all year round without the gap from December to Febuary that we usually experience.

It was fascinating to hear more about the growing techniques they employ and the commercial realities of being small scale organic growers. We also explored the point at which local veg that needs a lot of fuel to produce (in heated polytunnels – they don’t use these) becomes less climate-friendly than veg that is transported further but with fewer inputs. We also got to meet the The Kindling Trust's FarmStart co-ordinator who told us about training up new organic growers at the site.

The partnership between the council, Kindling, Glebelands and community growing groups has brought life back into a party derelict ex-plant nursery site, it's now a thriving 'hub' for urban agriculture in Stockport.

Look out for Stockport tomatoes in the shop for the next few weeks - get them while you can!

Last Modified - 9th September 2016

Grow a Grocery

We think there’s room for a Unicorn-type store in every city, and perhaps more besides. We have no plans to expand outside the one shop, so we’ve put together a guide intended to help facilitate the emergence of new stores run on similar lines.

Starting a new business is a daunting process. The guide is based on the model Unicorn has tried & tested since 1996, and walks potential grocers through all areas of the business, in the hope that it will make starting a new shop an easier process and help existing shops improve and/or expand.

Read the guide here

Last Modified - 10th October 2013

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