HISBE Food CIC, a social enterprise and sustainable supermarket in Brighton, is targeting a £450,000 bond raise through an investment crowdfunding campaign on the Triodos Crowdfunding platform.
HISBE’s mission is to transform the food industry, by reinventing the way supermarkets do business. HISBE does things differently. You can do your whole shop at HISBE but you won’t find any big global brands on their shelves; instead you will find more ethical and considered versions of everyday products.
Ruth Anslow, who launched HISBE’s first Store in Brighton in 2013 with her sister Amy and their friend Jack, says: “Much of the UK food industry is reliant on intensive industrialised food production and cheap food produced with little regard for the environmental or social costs which have to be paid by society as a whole. The result has created a wasteful food system that is unsustainable.”
HISBE’s first store in Brighton has been open since 2013 and now has turnover of £1.8 million. HISBE (which stands for How it Should Be) has secured a site for the new store in Worthing and plans for it to open for business this summer. The crowdfunding campaign will raise money to fund the fit-out of the shop, provide working capital and cover the anticipated first year trading loss for the Worthing store. With a second shop, HISBE can scale the operation and reach financial stability.
Ruth continued “We’re really excited by this opportunity, we have a great site secured in Worthing and expanding to our second shop is something we have been working hard on for more than two years. We created HISBE to transform the UK’s food industry, because right now it just isn’t sustainable. We think supermarkets can be part of the solution instead of part of the problem and we are on a mission to reinvent the way supermarkets do business. We want to show that it is possible to buck convention and break the mould.”
The minimum investment for the bond offer is £50. The bond will pay 5% gross interest per year for its seven-year term. As with all investments, capital is at risk and returns are not guaranteed.
As a community interest company (CIC) HISBE has impact embedded into its governance and financing structure as well as through its operations and activities.
- HISBE does not make big pay-outs to shareholders or directors, instead it puts money back into making the prices fair for customers and paying suppliers fairly.
- HISBE staff all get contracted hours, paid the real living wage and 20% discount off their shopping. HISBE does not do zero-hour contracts or unpaid breaks.
- HISBE invests back into the local economy. For every £1 HISBE spends, 58 pence is spent locally (in Sussex) on stock, wages and services.
Dan Hird, Head of Corporate Finance at Triodos Bank UK said “Triodos is an ethical and sustainable bank and we offer a more conscious approach to finance and banking. HISBE is doing much the same, making it easier for people to consume in a more sustainable way. It’s great that HISBE is ready to expand and we are delighted to be raising the capital to support it.”