Indigo Wholefoods is a community-supported local independent business run by current and former Moseley residents who value and cherish a thriving business community and high street in Moseley. We have run wholefood shops in Moseley since 1997 when we took over the established Sage Wholefoods and ran it as a workers co-operative until 2006. When Sage closed in 2007 we started building a new wholefood shop for Moseley, called Indigo Wholefoods, which opened in April 2008. Like with Sage in 1997 we raised funds to start the new business in part from the local community. Since 2008 Indigo has served the local community with organic and ethically-sourced food and products, welcoming regular and new customers into our
store. We value providing employment to local and/or like-minded people, creating a workplace that is happy and places value on each and every member of staff.
Like many businesses we have found the last few years tough going. From the uncertainties of brexit, to the collapse of trade during the pandemic, the ongoing challenges of supply both from the reality of brexit and war in Ukraine, combined with an unprecedented cost of living crisis that has put pressure on everyone and every business.
In October 2022, with money running out, we made the staff redundant, not knowing what the future held for the business. The intention to pay off remaining debts and decide on the future of the business towards the end of 2023. However, what became abundantly clear in the first few days of running the shop without staff, was just how valued Indigo was to the local community and what a loss Indigo would be should it close. We cannot close this business; we will not close this business. However, that means finding new ways to make the business sustainable, both financially and for our own health and work-life
balance. It is financially unsustainable to pay current staffing costs (national living wage; employers national insurance; pension) and socially unsustainable for directors to continue to work 50-60 hour weeks.
With the help of our local councillors and community members we have agreed to launch an Indigo Wholefoods Friends 500 to meet these challenges. Transparently managed and, if we can find a suitable volunteer, independently administered the Friends 500 has the narrow remit of providing funding to allow us to return to providing employment for local and/or like-minded individuals. Customers, community members and supporters are invited to contribute £1 per week with the aim of reaching 500 friends contributing to providing employment to local and/or like-minded individuals.
You can cancel your subscription whenever you want. You are also welcome to contribute a different amount on a regular basis or make a one-off donation if you would prefer. Friends 500 members making a regular contribution or a one-off donation
over £52 receive a 15% discount on our discount days (usually 10% for loyalty members). Any funds over and above our staffing costs will be donated to local charities. In addition to this Indigo provides volunteer opportunities and space for local crafts people to display their wares (small cut to Indigo for any sales).
The question is, when we emerge from the simultaneous challenges we currently face, do we want a business community consisting of the mega-corporations or do we want a business community that at least has a place for small independent local businesses like Indigo? Businesses that value the local community and understand the support the local community gives.
To subscribe, enter your name and best email address below and we will email you bank account details. Use these to set up your standing order or one-off contribution.
Non-director wage bill 2023 to date
FRIENDS 500 donations 2023 to date
FRiends 500 members
£7,635 of £16,706 (estimated)
£4,721 of £16,706 (target)
25 of 500 (target)