Featured Image: Rainbow Monkey Events set up to promote Vegan Fairs by Entrepreneur/Creative Sam Brundish: (next Lutterell Hall markets 30th July, 3rd September and 1st October 2022).
Lutterell Hall is a great venue for events in West Bridgford. On the junction of church Drive and Bridgford Road it’s like a tardis room: a place where you remember growing up, moving on, trying things out at all stages and ages of life.
On 21st May 2022 a fantastic range of vegan businesses came together to get to know West Bridgford a bit better….and West Bridgford was very pleased they did: the friends of the hall had done a great job in 2020/221 in getting it listed, petitioning the council to find a new management for the Rushcliffe lease of the building.
The council obliged, finding the community outreach and development of The Rock Church UK Ltd the right match for West Bridgford. Since then the community activity around the hall is rippling out into wider and wider networks: the new series of Vegan markets planned across the year as well as a sense that the hall is going to host more and more regenerative activities.
Vegan food is delicious, the students loved it and it became a way of life.
Sam was one of the first vegan advocates to really think about and develop Zero Waste projects in Nottingham since the post war boom in the 1960’s and 70’s. However Covid has really impacted the momentum of independents in Nottingham. Projects like Zero Waste were just about sustainable in Nottingham city centre, through really hard work strong market networks within the independent retailing neighbourhoods like Sherwood were the ambassadors but since Covid the impact of social inequalities have made things really tough.
Dash Vegan is like a catalytic converter working inside the vegan networks as well as online. Like Out Of This World in Beeston which is an organic vegetarian supplier, DashVegan has a brilliant range of products for a varied diet (and interesting and healthy life):
Dash Vegan want to get into small suppliers/supermarkets (so it’s worth talking to the managers of Co-op in West Bridgford (Chris Bradbury) and Tesco Fletcher Gate Paul Rowland both very community spirited with local Nottingham connections and an interest in promoting local employment and regeneration.
Dash Vegan use Izettle (now Zettle) for payments and say there are pros/cons(!).
I think there’s an opportunity for a knowledge transfer project at one of our universities to work with these new kinds of retailers to develop a new kind of payment platform that provides community benefits….(watch this space).
With a background in service, audience access technologies and payment sales Will started Nottingham Vertical Farming Ltd during lockdown (see the Left Lion article). Will has been growing for ten years when his business partner offered him a warehouse as a ‘farm’. Will grew from there, had a small space, then took on a whole floor….growing and growing and…well growing..
Will and his partner set up Nottingham Vertical Farm Ltd from backgrounds of retail sale and distribution of fruit and veg, 3D printing technologies, teaching and payment systems. Between them they’d saved and were hungry to do something new and great and for the general good….
(Will was an Admin of the National 3d Printing Society and was able, during the pandemic to donate his design and printing experience and skills for free….but like many people wondered why he and his colleagues, people in business, the local community were donating their innovation, skills and talent without any recognition that with support these could become viable businesses).
Nottingham Vertical Farm Ltd and it’s whole underlying project is important because it’s introducing regeneration, by local people in neighbourhoods.
With the right kinds of stories, networks and connections can link the allotments in Nottingham, the urban farms with new ways of growing in new spaces that can improve opportunities in the local ground for everyone. Just before the pandemic I found a brilliant NTU project on the circular economy organised by Professor Daizhong Su and team at NTU and I wrote about it.
During the pandemic like many people I thought about, researched, listened to programmes about how we could have a more circular economy where everyone across their lifetimes could be included.
One thing I bacame interested in was how we could use land (say on university campuses) to encourage creative growing on campus with local growers and students that could create a greener more beautiful environment as well as new kinds of businesses with a local supply chain because these kinds of inititiatives inspire everyone.
Here’s some post Brexit info about funding (and it includes vertical farming) There’s a great set of BBC programmes called Turning Back The Climate Clock and a BBC World Service video: How to Grow On Your Own Balcony
Gemma Wolfe Gems Vegan Delights Gemma makes delicious brownies and cakes
Started this year around her five children 14, 12, 10, 5 and 3 (and has a five star Hygiene Rating from Rushcliffe)
Gemma wanted to do something and support her children as they grow up and her closeness to her mum was part of that. After her health hit rock bottom, (she’d suffered with asthma as a child and dairy intolerance is in the family) by twenty five Jemma had decided, no to these products….
She started by baking, tasting, sharing…. word of mouth built the business and she began to attend vegan markets regularly. What a brilliant thing for the children to understand from a very early that a business can grow out of what’s in your immediate environment and neighbourhood and it can have ethics.
Jill is a lifelong teacher and musician (viola and special needs), Ian an engineer (instrumentation). They wanted to combine their different experiences, skills, outlooks in a new kind of specialised career. They’ve trained themselves to a really high standard.
As Chocolatiers they’re really keen on quality/provenance. As an instrumentation engineer Ian is used to formulas. With a music and special needs teaching background Jill finds it exciting to develop flavours, recipes and has designed all the marketing.
They use Square as a payment system. 80% of their business goes on Square and they think it’s brilliant. They don’t want a website and see themselves as ambassadors at the market. They’ve earned five stars for hygiene.
Live long and prosper!