Keith Parkins
Nov 5, 2018 · 2 min read
Hisbe supermarket rebels how it should be London Road Brighton

Serendipity I chanced upon Hisbe.

Only fake milk in The Longhouse, owner suggests I try nearby supermarket for a coffee with real milk.

Perplexed by her suggestion, I went in search of a supermarket serving coffee.

I find HISBE serving coffee from Coffee at 33.

A downmarket version of Infinity Foods, or as they would term it, a radical alternative to Infinity Foods.

I had only just had a cappuccino at Coffee at 33, and therefore did not try the coffee. A little area set aside for coffee, including cakes.

How radical? An open coop, accept faircoin?

Where Infinity source organic, HISBE source local, though may also be organic.

I have never been impressed by the quality of fresh produce in Infinity Foods.

Quality at HISBE comparable to what I find on a good market.

HISBE, How It Should Be, minimise waste.

Grains, nuts, cereals, empty from a chute into a bag or your own container.

Different liquids, for example shampoo, bring and fill your own own bottle.

I would have liked to have seen more nuts, more dried fruits, and bars of chocolate, chocolate coated nuts, as I see in Athens and on local markets in Athens.

It is more than reducing waste, supporting local seasonal producers, paying a fair price, selling at a fair price.

It is how your local supermarket should function, a partnership with local producers and the local community.

Not as the big corporate supermarkets function, screw the suppliers into the ground, intimidate suppliers that they dare not speak out at the widespread industry malpractice, screw the customers, fake offers, buy one get one free, everything excessively shrink-wrapped in plastic, piss poor service.

Contrast with Waitrose or failing M&S, who talk the talk but the talk is greenwash and bullshit, fresh produce wrapped in plastic.

I tried fermented green tea from Old Tree Brewery. Smells of rotting apples, tastes of apple juice.

There are many quality independent businesses in Brighton, be they food stores like Grocer and Grain, Infinity Foods, HISBE, restaurants like Iydea, Infinity Foods Cafe, or coffee shops like Coffee at 33, Gazed, Pelicano. What they should now be doing is looking at how they can create their own cooperative network, and one way is through creation of a North Laine local currency and through a digital currency such as faircoin.

The supermarket I visited was on London Road. There are plans to open more across Brighton. The London Road store was seed funded via crowdfunding.

Light on a Dark Mountain

The machine is stuttering and the engineers are in panic. They are wondering if perhaps they do not understand it as well as they imagined. They are wondering whether they are controlling it at all or whether, perhaps, it is controlling them.— The Dark Mountain Manifesto

Keith Parkins

Written by

Writer, thinker, deep ecologist, social commentator, activist, enjoys music, literature and good food.

Light on a Dark Mountain

The machine is stuttering and the engineers are in panic. They are wondering if perhaps they do not understand it as well as they imagined. They are wondering whether they are controlling it at all or whether, perhaps, it is controlling them.— The Dark Mountain Manifesto

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