We live in a day and age where faceless supermarket chains surround us and promise cheap deals and convenience. But it hasn’t always been this way, and it doesn’t have to stay that way. So what can we really do about it? We think the story of Waters SE23 might inspire you to get involved in bringing local businesses back to life.
In December 2016, Stephen Waters opened Waters SE23, a much-needed Fish Monger and Green Grocer in the Forest Hill area. He had worked for 21 years, running small business for other people, but wanted to pursue his passion for nutrition and sustainability and provide for his young family. He too felt strongly about heavyweight supermarkets. He wanted to bring the local community together and felt they deserved better quality fresh fish, vegetables and fruit. He knew starting this alone would be a financial risk, but he felt passionate about nutrition and the Forest Hill community and knew he could bring something to the table. Well, he didn’t just bring good quality fish, fruit and vegetables. He has truly caught the public’s heart and attention with this exciting business venture.
Despite being assured of the final funding by the bank and pursuing many avenues, Stephen faces a financial dead end, unless the public can step in. We can always do more as a local community to cultivate local businesses, and here is our chance. As funds are low and Waters SE23 has only been trading for six months, Steve now faces the challenge of raising £25,000 to get the business back on its feet. Without this capital injection, the business may not survive and Forest Hill would lose another local business. He has started a crowdfunding page for those who want to help save his business.
So where would your donations be going? Two thirds of the money is going to be used as capital to get the business up and running again, serving the residents of Forest Hill fresh, nutritious fish, fruits and vegetables once more. The remainder will go towards expanding the range of stock and as working capital to prevent this situation arising again. This is an investment in bringing nutritious food back to your community but also a great opportunity to show that local businesses matter to Forest Hill.
What makes Waters SE23 so special is their dedication to seasonality, sustainability and local produce. They are invested in promoting a zero waste policy and expanding their range. This is what sets them apart from the large supermarkets. A simple peruse of the Waters SE23 Facebook page exhibits many loyal customers who clearly love their fresh produce and would hate for Steve to go out of business.
Waters SE23 isn’t just your typical local business, they have big plans for the future. They want to create a platform in order for environmental and health conscious people including schools, parent and child groups, local fitness groups, the arts community, like-minded small independent businesses and generally anyone who feels they would benefit from nutritious and healthy food. They even hope to host pop-up events in their much beloved courtyard in the future, bringing the community together with good food (and hopefully making some of the yummy recipes mentioned on their website!). Now that is a bright future to invest in.
If you know people who are invested in good food, local businesses and the Forest Hill community then please spread this message far and wide. By donating, people will not only be supporting the local businesses that they already supply to, but the local customers that rely on Waters SE23 for quality, fresh ingredients as well as the continued employment of the passionate and experienced local staff that work at Waters SE23. We hope their story inspires people to pass on our message to others, get onboard, support them and come with them on a journey to create something truly unique and special in Forest Hill.
Prove the power of the local community against the big corporations and donate, however small. Click here to donate.
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