Brighton’s rebel supermarket HISBE offers up some positive news in these challenging times. They’re announcing the opening of their second store and acknowledging that this is also a time of great opportunity to go “back to better” food and farming.
HISBE Food is a social enterprise supermarket based in Brighton, with a big focus on local suppliers, packaging free food, values-led brands and sustainable shopping options. HISBE’s purpose is to transform the British food industry, by reinventing the way supermarkets do business.
In January HISBE successfully raised £450,000 for expansion, through Triodos Bank’s crowdfunding platform and planned to open their second store, in Worthing, in May. The Coronavirus pandemic changed that, but post-lockdown, HISBE has announced a January 2021 opening date for the store and a new Back to Better campaign to engage people in better food and farming. The campaign is about showing more people what they do and inviting them to switch from their regular supermarket to HISBE.
There’s renewed hope, because public interest in good food has shifted due to Coronavirus, at a time when it’s more important than ever to tackle the issues in the food industry.
Ruth Anslow, who launched HISBE’s pilot store in Brighton in 2013 with her sister Amy and their friend Jack, expresses gratitude and optimism in the emergence from lockdown:
“It’s been a crazy six months since March when, like for everyone else, a virus-shaped spanner was thrown into our works… no sooner had we signed a lease on the Worthing premises and raised the money to refit it, when everything changed. Our Brighton shop was suddenly in survival mode. But we were committed to staying open, to keep good food flowing, keep our staff in their jobs and protect our suppliers’ livelihoods. We’re grateful that the business has made it through this difficult time and happy to find there’s a sort of new appreciation for good food and independent food businesses.”
“So, these are uncertain times, but there is also opportunity,” she continued. “HISBE is delighted to announce that we will open our second store, in Worthing, in January 2021. And we’ve launched a new campaign called “back to better” to show more people what we do and invite them to switch from their regular supermarket to ours. After all, why go back to normal, when you can go back to better?”