Carrick Greengrocers: co-operative on a roll after success of first six months

A community-owned greengrocers in Carrickfergus has celebrated a whirlwind first six months after making over £75,000 from more than 7,500 transactions.

Carrick Greengrocers, which first opened its doors at West Street in the town in July 2023, aims to connect farmers and producers with the community, reduce food miles, support sustainable farming practices, and contribute to a healthy and vibrant community.

Operating under a cooperative model, the business is owned by 434 people, many of them from the immediate Carrickfergus area.

The store stocks produce and products from 24 local suppliers, including fresh fruit and vegetables, flowers, jam and chutney, sourdough bread, kombucha, vegan cheese, apple juice, and coffee, as well as vegan buns, honey, dulce, cordials, mixers, sweets, butter, flowers and hot sauce.

Alongside its retail offering, the greengrocers collaborates with its suppliers to host events, from a wreath making workshop with One Small Seed Flower Farm to a tasting session on Saturday, March 2 (11am-2pm) with Polly & Archie’s Homemade Chutney, Vinegar and Pickle.

The team behind the flourishing business, who last year were recognised for their efforts at the NI Social Enterprise Awards, say its success is all the more significant due to preconceived notions about Carrickfergus town centre.

In a blog post, Carrick Greengrocers added that a total of 7,500 transactions was “an incredible number of people shopping on West Street, a street we were told again and again no one would come to. But we believed that the people of Carrick wanted more shops in our town centre and something different from what the supermarkets could offer, because they told us they did.”