Urban CoOp pictured above has a mission to be a model co-operative, supplying great produce and enhancing the lives of their members, customers, and the community.
Urban CoOp has evolved into a community wellness hub as well as a community grocery
The Urban CoOp & Wellness Hub is a unique social enterprise based in Limerick.
Their mission is to be a model co-operative, supplying great produce and enhancing the lives of their members, customers, and the community.
Anne Maher, Managing Director, The Urban CoOp & Wellness Hub said, “As we have erred towards organic and good quality foods it naturally attracted people interested in wellness, and from that it has evolved into a community wellness hub as well as a community grocery.”
Selling organic wholesome food and providing space for holistic therapies, seven days a week, creates a positive gateway for the community to enhance wellbeing. Inspiring consumers to be consciously sustainable, through nourishing food, zero waste practices, and positive life-style initiatives. The focus is on co-operative relationships with consumers and suppliers, encouraging a strong participatory culture including inclusive volunteer opportunities.
Geraldine Fitzpatrick, Operations and Wellness Hub Coordinator said, “At the Wellness Hub we hold such a huge variety of events and offer so many mental and physical therapies that the sky’s the limit on what happens here! We help others to help themselves and also give back to the community. We are all learning together, all the time. 19 people came together to set up the buying club originally and now we have 2,700 members who have signed up to support the Urban CoOp as a social enterprise. It’s driven by people. We have well over 350 suppliers, a few distributors and eight staff and many volunteers. We have grown to a 7 day operation.”
Limerick Community Grocery (now trading at The Urban CoOp), began a decade ago with an enthusiastic flourish that aimed to put the concept of urban co-operatives on the map. The journey of this innovative enterprise is an exciting adventure of courage and determination through challenging times that has resulted in a social enterprise that Limerick is proud to showcase. From their launch on Mulgrave St to an interval at Tait House and now in Eastway Business Park, it continues to provide employment, meaningful volunteer opportunities and a viable economic model for local food and craft suppliers to bring good produce to the community.
They are in the process of moving towards a multi stakeholder co-operative to achieve community ownership, as originally envisaged by the founders. There is much to celebrate about how a community can be empowered to make lasting sustainable change for the world we want to live in.
Anne added, “We are essentially reconnecting people back to where their supply of food and resources are coming from. We see people who come in here start to become conscious consumers coming back to real food and changing their lifestyle for the better. Our vision is that this becomes community owned and other communities take this vision and replicate it in their own community.”
We welcome new members to join on this adventure!
About Social Enterprise Limerick
Learning Hub Limerick is a member of Social Enterprise Limerick, a practitioners’ network of Social Enterprises in Limerick City. The overall objective of Social Enterprise Limerick is to provide a local platform for social enterprises to meet, network, share their experiences and learn from each other. The network encourages collaboration and the sharing of resources to help members to advance their community, social and/or environmental goals and is involved in a range of training, development and promotional activities.
In 2022, Social Enterprise Limerick was approved for funding under the ARISE programme, which is a Dormant Accounts funded initiative for the promotion of Social Enterprise. The ARISE funding was utilised to develop a range of promotional materials for network members and to highlight the activities of the SEL network, with a particular focus on the development of digital media/video content.
Social Enterprise Limerick was initiated by Paul Partnership under the Social Inclusion and Community Activation Programme (known as SICAP). SICAP provides social inclusion support to individuals and community organisations and is co-funded by the Government of Ireland through the Department of Rural and Community Development and the European Union.
For more information on the SEL ARISE project contact Michael Gleeson, Social Enterprise Officer at PAUL Partnership or visit www.socialenterpriselimerick.ie #SocialEnterpriseLimerick