Le Supermarché Collaboratif de la Louve

Let’s create Paris’ first collaborative supermarket together so we can finally start eating good, healthy products at reasonable prices.

Le Supermarché Collaboratif de la Louve

<p> The place we wanted to shop at didn’t exist, so we thought : <strong>Why not create our own supermarket all by ourselves? Not a little boutique… But a full-blown supermarket</strong>.<strong> </strong>We can do it.</p> <p>  </p> <p> Who are “we” ?</p> <p>  </p> <p> 1) Humble residents from the Paris area who believe that they can do a better job creating a place to buy food that reflects their ideals in terms of quality, agriculture and commerce.</p> <p>  </p> <p> 2) You, we hope.</p> <p>  </p> <p>  </p> <p> <strong>A little history : </strong></p> <p>  </p> <p> <strong>2010</strong> : Tom and Brian, <strong>two American gourmets in Paris</strong>, both very sensitive to the <strong>quality and price</strong> of the food they eat, decide to start a kind of crazy project, “La Louve”. The concept is a new one in France: a food coop inspired and supported by the <strong>Park Slope Food Coop</strong> in Brooklyn (a very dynamic Coop with over 16,000 members).</p> <p>  </p> <p>  </p> <p> <img alt="Closing_18" height="320" src="https://kkbb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/project_image/image/44883/closing_18.jpg" width="572"></p> <p>  </p> <p> See a short movie presenting it here:</p> <p>  </p> <p> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="405" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/RwRG6stOIOI?wmode=opaque&amp;feature=oembed" width="540"></iframe></p> <p>  </p> <p> <strong>Spring 2011</strong> : Talking up their project here and there, many people with the same concerns about the food they eat join them in the two following years. That’s when they start the <strong>buying club</strong> and association called <strong>“Les Amis de la Louve”</strong>, whose goal is the creation of a <strong>big collaborative supermarket</strong> called “La Louve”. (“Louve” means “she-wolf”. A terrible name for a supermarket in English, but very pretty to say and hear in French!)</p> <p>  </p> <p> <strong>2012-2013</strong> : The project keeps growing, wolf packs start to be organized, and la Louve gets more and more support, most importantly from <strong>the City of Paris and the 18th “arrondissement”</strong>.</p> <p>  </p> <p> <strong>December 2013</strong> : The <strong>Buying club</strong> will move from the suburb of Bagnolet to its new location in the <strong>18th arrondissement</strong> of Paris, the neighborhood of our future supermarket.</p> <p>  </p> <p> <img alt="Ladder_front_9" height="322" src="https://kkbb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/project_image/image/45473/ladder_front_9.jpg" width="572"></p> <p>  </p> <p> <strong>Our principles  :</strong></p> <p>  </p> <p> Ensuring the <strong>great quality</strong> of products selected with very <strong>high standards</strong> in terms of <strong>taste, nutrition and freshness</strong>, La Louve supports <strong>farmers and producers</strong> engaged in environmentally responsible, ethical practices.</p> <p>  </p> <p> A <strong>non-profit</strong> association, la Louve seeks <strong>transparency</strong> in all its actions : purchasing, sales, management and administration. It is managed and governed by its members who are responsible for providing the<strong> volunteer labor </strong>(with the help of a few salaried employees) for all the <strong>daily tasks</strong> necessary for the smooth running of the supermarket.</p> <p>  </p> <p> <strong>Concretely,</strong> this means that all members have to work <strong>3 hours every 3 months</strong> for the buying club, and <strong>2h45mins every 4 weeks</strong> as soon as the supermarket opens (See our FAQ).</p> <p>  </p> <p> <img alt="Morning_workers_3" height="316" src="https://kkbb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/project_image/image/45477/Morning_workers_3.jpg" width="563"></p> <p>  </p> <p> This <strong>model based on volunteer labor</strong> allows us to have <strong>low margins</strong>— and hence <em>very</em> reasonable prices on food for our members— while at the same time paying a <strong>fair price to our farmers and producers</strong>. The idea of eating better, for less money, while respecting both producers and the environment has a universal appeal. This is why La Louve is committed to making the its collaborative supermarket <strong>accessible to all</strong>. One of our top priorities is to meet the diverse culinary needs of our immediate neighborhood… and beyond.</p> <p>  </p> <p> <strong>La Louve will also be :</strong></p> <p>  </p> <p> - a place to learn about current food-related issues</p> <p>  </p> <p> - a place to exchange and share over good food</p> <p>  </p> <p>  </p> <p> <img alt="Louve_seule_hd" height="205" src="https://kkbb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/project_image/image/44924/LOUVE_Seule_HD.jpg" width="205"></p> <p>  </p> <p>  </p> <p> <strong>Some of our Helpers :</strong></p> <p>  </p> <p> Our <strong>sourcing committee </strong>is constantly searching for <strong>new products</strong>, <strong>visiting farms</strong>, <strong>meeting producers</strong>, and receiving the <strong>advice of different experts.</strong> We would particularly like to thank <strong>Antoine Jacobsohn</strong>, the head of the famous <strong>"Potager du Roi"</strong> at Versailles (The French national "Ivy League" school for gardening) who directs them to the greatest local <strong>fruit and vegetable</strong> producers and <strong>Xavier Thuret,</strong> named by the French government as the best <strong>cheesemonger</strong> in France ("<strong>Meilleur Ouvrier de France</strong>"). And for <strong>wines</strong>, our expert is none other than <strong>Tom Boothe</strong>, long-time <strong>wine buyer</strong> in the US and <strong>co-founder of la Louve</strong>.</p> <p>  </p> <p> This assembly of an <strong>“advisory board”</strong> is just beginning. Many other ‘experts’ in other domains will soon be joining us.</p> <p>  </p>

Allocation of funds

<p> With your help, La Louve will grow <strong>big and strong</strong>!</p> <p>  </p> <p> <img alt="Logo_louvetter" height="155" src="https://kkbb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/project_image/image/44996/Logo_Louvetter.png" width="158"></p> <p>  </p> <p> Here’s the situation : The <strong>vibrant support</strong> given to us by several important <strong>municipal figures</strong> and <strong>institutions</strong> has made it possible to <strong>establish</strong>—rather quickly and on a grand scale— our <strong>dream supermarket</strong>.</p> <p>  </p> <p> Essential resources, most importantly <strong>access to beautiful and spacious premises</strong>, are awaiting us.</p> <p> BUT… this will only happen if we are able to <strong>show to the city</strong> and other <strong>institutions</strong> that we can <strong>build the project up</strong> to a certain point all by ourselves. <strong>Attracting enthusiastic new members</strong> has been very easy so far—the project sells itself—what we need now is <strong>resources to formalize</strong> and <strong>professionalize</strong> our activities… and for that we need money.</p> <p>  </p> <p> The <strong>road</strong> leading to <strong>our Supermarket</strong> therefore goes through our <strong>buying club</strong>… An already existing project through which <strong>La Louve’s members</strong> order <strong>products together</strong> that reflect their <strong>ideals</strong> in terms of <strong>agriculture, fair trade</strong> and <strong>food distribution</strong>. As it grows, this buying club will progressively become the <strong>Collaborative Supermarket, La Louve</strong>.</p> <p>  </p> <p> The buying club is a <strong>lab</strong> where we <strong>try out</strong> and <strong>evaluate</strong> products, a vehicle for the <strong>recruitment</strong> and <strong>progressive integration</strong> of <strong>new members</strong>, and, very importantly, the way that we <strong>accumulate</strong> the <strong>equipment</strong> and <strong>skills</strong> necessary for our <strong>future Supermarket</strong>.</p> <p>  </p> <p> <img alt="Louve_vrac_gr" height="281" src="https://kkbb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/project_image/image/45486/louve_vrac_gr.jpg" width="211"></p> <p>  </p> <p> This <strong>funding campaign</strong> will enable us to:</p> <p>  </p> <p> - Buy <strong>professional equipment</strong> : 2 professional refrigerator-freezers, professional scales, and a computer.</p> <p>  </p> <p> - Have our <strong>first paid part-time worker</strong>, who will <strong>coordinate</strong> the ever-growing <strong>tasks</strong> related to the <strong>project’s development</strong> and ensure the <strong>completion of the dossier</strong> we submit to <strong>funding institutions</strong> in 2014.</p> <p>  </p> <p> - Move into a <strong>temporary space</strong> that will be the headquarters for the <strong>development of the project</strong>, a <strong>recruitment center</strong>, a <strong>welcome center</strong> for our <strong>members</strong> and <strong>supporters</strong> in the 18th arrondissement and the <strong>distribution site</strong> for our buying club.</p> <p>  </p> <p> At the same time—and this is <strong>extremely important</strong>—the <strong>amount we raise</strong> through this campaign, as well as the <strong>number of contributors</strong> who participate, will <strong>demonstrate</strong> to <strong>lenders</strong> and other <strong>important institutions</strong> how much support we can <strong>mobilize</strong> for the project… <strong>This is essential to its success</strong>.</p> <p>  </p> <p> And of course we would love to <strong>exceed the funding goal</strong> we’ve set here…and by far!</p> <p>  </p> <p> <img alt="Happy_louve" height="135" src="https://kkbb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/project_image/image/45489/happy_louve.jpg" width="287"></p> <p>  </p> <p> We could then:</p> <p>  </p> <p> - Buy a <strong>small truck</strong> and <strong>other equipment</strong>.</p> <p>  </p> <p> - Develop the <strong>sophisticated web-site</strong> we’re planning for the Supermarket, through which the members will be able to <strong>check</strong>, in real time, the <strong>availability of products</strong> and <strong>learn</strong> about their <strong>origins</strong> and <strong>ethical profiles</strong>.</p> <p>  </p> <p> - Increase the <strong>frequency of distributions</strong> for our buying club and <strong>diversify the product range</strong> even faster.</p> <p>  </p> <p> - Publish <strong>pedagogical brochures</strong> about the Supermarket and more generally about <strong>food</strong> and <strong>nutrition</strong>.</p> <p>  </p> <p> -Make <strong>people</strong> and <strong>resources available</strong> that will help those who, in other parts of France (and beyond!) wish to create their <strong>own Supermarket</strong> based on the <strong>same model</strong>… That way, the <strong>“She-Wolf”</strong> won’t be all alone, but could be joined by <strong>The Otter</strong>, <strong>The People’s Newt</strong>, <strong>The Gourmet Mole</strong>…</p> <p>  </p> <p> In the end, <strong>that’s what this is all really about</strong>!</p> <p>  </p> <p> <img alt="Louve_frise" height="142" src="https://kkbb-production.s3.amazonaws.com/uploads/project_image/image/45485/Louve_frise.jpg" width="575"></p>

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