The very special hardware store and garden centre faced closure upon the retirement of the current owners. #

The customers stepped in and formed a co-op to save this unusual and much loved shop. They’ve raised the investment to buy the business and it will now be run by and for the community.

What we did: #

When it became apparent that York Supplies was going up for sale there was a mild panic in the local community. The hardware and garden shop has been around for a very long time and the owner Jon is a bit of a local celebrity.

What started as a small WhatsApp group chat blossomed into a plan to take community ownership of the shop and raise the money to buy the business and the premises. Quick action was needed and so once a temporary steering group was created we set about mobilising.

The community come together
The community come together

Social accounts, mailing list and an initial website were quickly put in place and we began working in an engagement plan to raise awareness and plan for a share offer to the locals… but would enough locals get on board to raise the 300k we needed?

Regular market stalls and heavy use of Facebook (based on our target demographic) aswell as actually speaking to people on the shop spread the word and the mailing list steadily grew.

Regular community engagement
Regular community engagement

The business plan and share offer document was created and printed with digital versions of all the important documents made available on the website.

Share Offer and Business Plans
Share Offer and Business Plans

We needed a means to allow people to apply for shares with a minimum of £100 and maximum of £20,000, the application needed to generate a unique reference number that could be used to track any additional investment.

Flyers, posters and other collateral was created
Flyers, posters and other collateral was created

We applied for match finding for the government - so the pressure was on to hit our target in the timeframe set out by the Dept for levelling up.

The people of Kings Heath were keen to get on board and in 6 weeks we hit our target and actually had to close the submission tool ahead of time.

Flyers, posters and other collateral was created
Flyers, posters and other collateral was created

Upon realising this landmark moment - the first co op hardware store in England we revisited the temporary group logo to reimagine the York supplies brand based on parts of its glorious history and set it for a long and prosperous future on the high street.

Collateral used on the project:

  • Logo
  • Branding
  • Share offer docs
  • Business plan
  • Flyers
  • Pull up banners
  • Posters
  • Website
  • Email marketing
  • Share application tool

What the client said:

Sush Kelly’s work was instrumental in the success of our community buyout project. He has built our website, including application forms, and designed strong logos, clear brand identities and attractive professional documentation. And he did all this at speed and with endless good humour and where necessary grace under fire.

He played a key role in communicating with local people and turning them into investors, and we are enormously grateful. We look forward to continuing to work with Sush in the long term.
Naomi Stander - (Chair of York Supplies Community Co-op)

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