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Social Supermarket Founder Wants To Roll Out More Stores

Wednesday February 19 2014


Community Shop, Goldthorpe Community Shop, Goldthorpe


THE man behind the country's first 'social supermarket' is looking forward to rolling out more stores after its initial success.

John Marren, founder of Company Shop, established Community Shop in Goldthorpe and opened its doors in December.

Providing shoppers on the cusp of poverty with access to surplus foods for knock-down prices, the pilot store has also provided a 'Community Hub' - an in-store area which provides its members with skills training.

Major retailers including Asda, Morrisons, Marks & Spencer and Tesco have all thrown their support behind the project and this week received thousands of 'eco bags' from business Bag It Don't Bin It.

The Goldthorpe store's 500-strong membership all live within the local area and claim one of a specified list of benefits.

John said: "I’m proud to say that I’ve been a Barnsley man all my life. I’ve seen the industries that were such a huge source of jobs here close and life become more difficult for everyone.

"There’s no question that Barnsley has started to turn around since then, but for many people here, it's still tough.

"This model isn't just about cutting food waste and supporting people to get new skills, but also helping those people that just need that little bit of help when they fall on harder times.

"I'm incredibly proud that Community Shop has started its journey in Barnsley and look forward to rolling out more stores."

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Reply Posted by tracy on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 12:45
Its brill..so cheap .the staff r brill..i live in goldthorpe ..even handed my cv in to shop.....

Reply Posted by Alan fletcher on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 12:49
John Marren creating jobs for local people as well.Excellent idea all round

Reply Posted by Hard working mum on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 13:00
Shame that if you work you can't go to the shop ... 3 jobs I've got and can't afford marks and Spencer's goods ...

Reply Posted by NON WORKER on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 14:13
IT PAYS TO WORK...HAHAHHAHA

Reply Posted by angie on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 13:09
we need one nearer to barnsley as we carnt shop at goldthorpe

Reply Posted by annie on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 13:18
bring one to keighley please x

Reply Posted by Rob on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 16:28
Something to make life easier for lazy ******* people. While I work mi arse off to live they sit at home and get it all for nowt.

Reply Posted by Mark on Saturday February 22 2014 at 11:15
What a load of claptrap, I bet you believe that Benefits Street is just like every other street in the UK too.

Reply Posted by Blue egg on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 18:26
This shop has only 500 members it states. what is not said is that it can only be accessed by the unemployed from certain streets within Goldthorpe. If it was so good then all poor people including pensioners would be able to use it. If it was so good then poor employed people on low incomes would be members.
it is a money making business for the owner that is all.

Reply Posted by sour grapes blue egg on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 18:56
Blue egg - it also sells tissues and next time I visit this lovely cheap shop I will buy all the WABers to dry there eyes..

Reply Posted by sean on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 18:29
Who the *** can afford marks n sparks ? I work and its aldi for us 4 of us and £40 per week shop why not judge on peoples income rather than the benefits they claim times are hard for us all not just people looking for work

Reply Posted by sean on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 18:30
Well said blue egg

Reply Posted by Jack on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 18:43
Actually I'd get ya facts right before shooting ya mouthes its not just the dossers that can go in, I work and I can go in, jealousys a disease these days.... Get well soon bitches :)

Reply Posted by bill on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 18:51
I know someone that as a card n husband owns his own business lol

Reply Posted by billy on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 18:53
oh dear above. oh dear above...

Reply Posted by get it said on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 19:12
ha ha Jack i wouldn't say its jealousy i'd say it's people sick to the teeth of working silly hours and still having no help and constantly looking at new schemes to help the unemployed or people who work a certain amount of hours so they can still get loads of benefits, i work my arse off and still can't afford basic things so actually your correct i take it back i'm jealous to BLOODY DEATH !!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply Posted by jack on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 19:16
You sould have got a better education and then you would have got a good job with a nice salary..

you are the failure....

Reply Posted by Dawn on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 19:24
I sometimes shop at "The Company Shop" for something for lunch or tea. The problem is the products 'sell by dates' aren't that long.

Reply Posted by lauren on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 19:50
To be honest people who have messed up their education like myself, can alway go back into education, nobody's a failure because you can always turn things around. Think it's a great idea, everyone should be able to access it. Should be for every one who has low income young and old.

Reply Posted by @jack on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 20:09
If you can go in you must have a company shop card as this is for people of certain criterier. What john is doing is a good thing but it's always the case that people on benefits are once again better off. And you will find that a lot of people are doing jobs that are less paid than what they where on a few years ago. I myself am working in job that's not in my chosen field but I get on with it. for you to call someone a failure because there not on a big income you want a slap. Least they are going out to work and trying to earn a living unlike a lot of prope that would rather stop on benefits. I earn 22k a year but I myself still have to be careful what I spend because things are that expensive

Reply Posted by kim on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 20:20
I earn 34k and afford to shop at mark & spencers. nice holidays nice car..now do 1.

Reply Posted by get it said on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 22:14
oh dear Jack me undereducated lmao pull the other you sound very mature and intelligent ha ha if you get stuck working the dates out on your discounted food maybe one of the undereducated staff what will serve you at the till will help ha ha

Reply Posted by Disgusted on Wednesday February 19 2014 at 23:11
So only people in goldthorpe are struggling? Only people on benefits are struggling? Ha.... What a laugh! People on benefits are better off than the workers earning pittance to pay their own way!
If it's called jealousy for me having to leave my kids to work my ass off to pay my bills and teach my children that to get somewhere in life, they have I work for it, then yes, I'm jealous.... We could all have the ignorant attitude "why should I go out and work when I can claim benefits" but some of us have more self respect and pride! That is all!

Reply Posted by @sat on your bum on Thursday February 20 2014 at 02:17
I bet your parents and kids are real proud of you absolute drain on society. Go out and earn a living. @kim are you telling everyone to do one or the benefit scroungers

Reply Posted by Pearl on Thursday February 20 2014 at 08:32
@ Rob Something to make life easier for lazy ******* people. While I work mi arse off to live they sit at home and get it all for nowt.

Well work a bit harder then.

Reply Posted by @nonworker on Thursday February 20 2014 at 09:26
It's does pay to work it also gives real men satisfaction that they are providing and income for there family and when my son says that he's going to do same job that I do when he grows that makes me proud. What does your kids say look at tha lazy slob sat watching tv again or do u think there proud of ya while your watching Jeremy Kyle. It's cause of people like yourself that the young generation don't want to get art of bed on a morning and work.

Reply Posted by non worker on Thursday February 20 2014 at 09:36
no silly he spends more time in Benidorm or our caravan at skeggy. fool what are you.

Reply Posted by Tom on Sunday February 23 2014 at 06:25
Lot of young people today haven't made their fathers proud. For generations there were men who worked as coal miners, and today's generation got lazy and decided to sign on instead.

About an hour after pit closed, they all became feckless layabouts.

People who get made redundant are the worst, in the space of a single second they go from being 'hardworking people' to the 'workshy' underserving poor.

We need to punish these people and destabilise their position in the labour market by reducing their insurance policy payouts and forcing them to work for lower wages.

That will be good for working people, they'll be better off then, unless they decide to get made redundant.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Monday February 24 2014 at 10:46
Tom, I like your posting style very tongue in cheek just like mine.
Things are going to have to change we just can not keep going on the way we are.
Agencies and zero hours / annualised hours need scrapping NOW.

Reply Posted by Paula on Thursday February 20 2014 at 10:41
I get so fed up of the ignorant attitudes on here! All I want to say is well done John for making a difference despite the negative people. You are a making a diffenrence to so many people. Thank you.

Reply Posted by @ Paula on Thursday February 20 2014 at 14:54
Yes sue, he is making a difference.... Not to the people who deserve it!

Reply Posted by Fred on Thursday February 20 2014 at 20:41
Yet another example of punishing success, if you are in any way 'succesfull' or even just have a job, you have to pay more !! More for food, more tax etc etc.


Reply Posted by the law on Saturday February 22 2014 at 09:12
Yet again scrounging pays!

Reply Posted by sour grapes above^^^ on Saturday February 22 2014 at 09:32
give up now. I don't work and you are making me cry all over my cheap food!!

hahahahhhahahha

Reply Posted by yap yap yap on Saturday February 22 2014 at 09:13
Why don't you all stop bloody moaning, if you feel so passionate about this then turn it into something that's going to make a difference instead of arguing amongst yourselves via FB, the lot if you need to get a grip, the guy is only trying to make a difference amongst his community I'd like to see how many of you lot can say you've made a difference!!!

Reply Posted by Wise old owl on Saturday February 22 2014 at 09:16
Try looking at The Company Shop website, it will give you all an insight on what John is trying to achieve (and of course he's in it to make money too, why shouldn't he!). Keep it up John and hopefully we'll see more of the social supermarkets in areas that need them.

Reply Posted by julie on Saturday February 22 2014 at 09:16
This is a pilot shop and being mistaken for the company shop that on ce was marrens . This shop at goldthorpe differs in the fact that this is not for employees of certain businesses as the original facory shop is . If its a pilot then hopefully it will be rolled out to help further in the community. As with anything there are those that will scrounge because they can and those who would rather stick pins in their eyes rather than be sen to be acccepting help

Reply Posted by Wise old owl on Saturday February 22 2014 at 09:20
Well said Julie. Unfortunately, there will always be the bad apples that find a way to abuse the good work, which people on here pick up on and tar the rest with the same brush.

Reply Posted by pauline shaw on Saturday February 22 2014 at 09:41
For Christ sake - its a bit of cheap food which can be purchased at most supermarkets with short dates, get a grip you jealous morons!

I work full time and manage to feed my family. I always look at the reduced items and purchase them. you are not missing out on anything it only short dated food at cheaper prices.. its better than senting it to the landfill sites,

stop arguing and the government is doing a grand job by turning the low paid workers against the unemployed..wake up the government are laughing at us again.

Reply Posted by dave on Saturday February 22 2014 at 15:36
Some people who got cards for that shop, flog their bargain shopping down pub for more than what they paid.

Reply Posted by Tom on Sunday February 23 2014 at 06:17
Isn't it for people on means tested benefits, so those on pension credit and working tax credit would gain access?

If your complaining you are poor enough to be worse than being on means tested benefits, if you really are poorer, then you will qualify for means tested benefits, many part time workers sign on for example, and under universal credit, anybody not doing 35 hours a week will be means tested and have to sign on.

Benefits are being cut in real terms and they are already tied to the inflation of goods people on the margins do not buy which is hiding true inflation in the cost of basic goods you require to live.

Wages have also fallen.in the lower income and middle brackets. Although they have risen massively at the top. Wealth too has multiplied many times over at the top.

The position in society of the working class, has fallen. The position of those at the bottom has fallen.

It is only fair the price of goods should fall for this class, the class that often produces them, albeit not as often in this country anymore.

With people being forced to work for free, you'd imagine, we'll soon have a system where not only are people on the dole self financing, they will be profit making too. As well as guaranteed to be unemployed due to the abundance of free labour.

You could assign them to companies as slaves rather than employees, lower company labour costs to 0. Then we can all shop at the 'company store'.

With forced labour we could bring back the manufacturing of clothes to this country. Supply the clothesbank and clothe the workers (technically unemployed but that is by the by).

Let envy the poor for being able to eat in 2014, the audacity!

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Monday February 24 2014 at 11:02
Top post again Tom, But alas I fear you are wasting your breath with the majority of people that post on this forum as they are all spoon fed Sun reading idiots that believe that everything printed in the gutter tabloids is pure gospel.
They are far too interested in their own sad pathetic lives than finding out the real truth of exactly what is going on in this country.
Programmes like skint and benefits street only add fuel to the fire.
To those that do read and want to know then heres a short list:

Food banks up ten fold since the coalition was formed
unemployment UP despite the Tories telling us it is down, nice manipulation of the figures there IDS, Shows the metal of the man who changed his name from plain old George Smith to IDS as George Smith didn't sound Tory Enough.
2.34 Million Unemployed but only 596,000 jobs available
Benefits Sanctions have grown at the fastest rate EVER since the welfare state was introduced
wages DOWN 10% + in real terms since the coalition was formed
Workfare - slave labour forcing people to work for large companies for FREE or face benefit sanctions
Asos "Murdering" 10,000 people + a year due to their ridiculous work capability assessments

That is a mere drop in the ocean hopefully some of the people who post on this site will finally wake up and smell the coffee.

Back to the topic in hand, I cannot believe the attitude of some of the people on here, would you actually deny a little un a hot meal in their belly?


Reply Posted by kim on Sunday February 23 2014 at 12:18
its cheap snap with short dates. what is the moaning about.. plenty other outlets sell short dated food.. shop around and stop moaning..