I’m going to tell you about a vegan location in London that you probably have never heard of and if you have, you probably have forgotten. I forgot. I used to visit this location back in 2001, but it had since slipped my mind. This little gem of immense community and plant-eating importance should be a weekly destination for every compassionate shopper in the capital.
Vegans and vegan-curious, I give you FareShares.
Set up in 1988 by local residents, FareShares is a concept designed to give everyone access to wholesome food no matter their monetary means. Staffed and run entirely by volunteers, this completely vegan grocery co-op is nestled away behind a housing estate in the south London Borough of Southwark.
The store runs as a not for profit enterprise, hence all the vegan groceries are sold at the lowest prices possible. Nobody involved with FairShares takes payment and only a sliver of any takings is put toward rent and outgoings.
Yes, yes. Socially-inclusive enterprise is all well and good you say, but what about the vegan food? OK, calm down foodie vegans.
The store is well-stocked with everything you would need to make it through life as a healthy and compassionate eater. Huge bulk bins are filled with grains and dry goods. The fridge holds smoked tofu, plant milks and cold drinks. Pantry items take up shelf space while fresh bread is piled upon a bench top. You can buy household products and personal items. There are plenty of tasty treats such as bars, crisps and crackers. Organic fruit and vegetables line one wall and there is an information room/bookstore for the community to the rear of the store.
Everything is vegan. Did I mention that part?
Situated only a short walk from Kennington or Elephant & Castle Tube stations and multiple bus routes, FareShares is easy to access. As a community run store, it needs all the support it can get to stay operational. It deserves your patronage.
Get down there as soon as you can and spend some money. And then go back often. It is a remarkable success story of community spirit and it proves good, clean food is available at affordable prices if people care enough to make it happen.
Opening times: Thursday 2-8pm; Friday 4-7pm; Saturday 3-5pm
Location: 56 Crampton Street, London SE17 3AE