Environment, Agriculture, Charity
Roots, the first and only organic, local and 100% circular farm shop in Brussels!
What if we were to reach €15,000 before 4th February?! €2,500 in one week, can we make it? We do work awfully quickly, so there’s a chance!
“What will my money be used for if you reach this new target?” -> You’ll help us to buy laminated pine for our furniture. This type of wood contains a lot less glue than MDF panels or plywood, so you’ll be able to breathe freely thanks to the high quality of air in the shop.
Roots, what’s it all about?
Roots is Brussels’ first and only organic, local, 100% circular farm shop, stocking straight from the producers! It is on the corner of Rue Franklin and Avenue Michel-Ange, a stone’s throw from the Schuman roundabout. In our shop, traceability is key. We know exactly where our products come from and who made them. In a nutshell, we know their ROOTS
We came up with Roots because we had started to feel frustrated with supermarkets and even with specialised organic shops: we often found that their products came from miles away, via a retailer, who had ordered from a wholesaler, who had ordered from somewhere else. With all the food-related scandals we read in the papers too, we tend to lose FAITH.
Ok, but what sets Roots apart from the crowd? We can do so much better! Our idea is new and innovative. Our 100% circular shop builds on 4 strong and different bases. We are all about:
1/ Short food supply chains
2/ "Zero waste, zero obsolescence"
3/ Decentralised management of organic waste / composting
4/ Helping savvy shoppers get to know each other
1/ Short food supply chains.
Our producers deliver a wide range of life’s essentials straight to the shop (fruit, vegetables, bread, cheese, pulses, eggs, etc.). We really are part of a short supply chain - lots talk about it, but very few actually translate those words into action. This means that we can guarantee our products are as fresh as possible (local goods + no middlemen = reduced transport time) and we have an unbeatable quality/price ratio (price agreed on with the producer, who pockets most of it, with no middlemen in between).
Over the past 2 years, we’ve met 150 producers and now we work directly with 35 producers. The best!
For instance, our dairy producer grows all of the feed given to his cattle on his own farm, so imports nothing from Asia or Latin America. We also have old varieties of apples and pears that grow high up in the trees in one of Belgium’s few remaining traditional orchards.
Left: one of our producers, Hugues from ‘Chèvrerie des Saules’ farm handing out tasters.
Right: vegetables from ‘Jardins de Dounia’, a brilliant agro-forestry farm!
2/ "Zero waste, zero obsolescence".
Reuse your own containers and buy in bulk from our scoop bins and food distributors. We had also hoped to have the first tailor-made vending machine for eco-friendly cleaning products at Roots. Sadly, our partnership with Wallowash turned sour. For more details (in French), click here.
Roots is also a partner of ‘Fablab la MicroFactory’, which designs and makes new objects, like an indestructible sponge, a rectangular compost bin for our cyclist friends, and even more in the future. Be the very first to test out these exciting new products made in Brussels, at a discounted price too.
Left: Our range of bulk goods.
Right: a MicroFactory workshop to design something to wash our organic compost bins.
3/ Decentralised management of organic waste / composting.
We are a “recycling” hub: bring along your organic waste in a sealed container and our farmers take it straight back to the farm with them. Now that’s what I call giving back to Mother Nature!
We are also one of the partners in “Operation Phosphorous”, which is large-scale, 3-year long study being carried out in Brussels. All of the big names in waste management are involved: Bruxelles-Propreté, Bruxelles Environnement, Worms, Refresh, the ULB, Schaerbeek Commune and the Centre d'Ecologie Urbain.
Left: emptying our compost. Mathieu takes the big container back to the farm with him to be composted.
Right: storing your organic waste at home (peelings, stale bread, etc.). It’s colourful!
4/ Helping savvy shoppers get to know each other.
The more the merrier, eh? The shop is also a place for you to meet other savvy shoppers. Our partner, MakeSense, and our not-for-profit organisation Roots ASBL, will organise several “hold-up” evenings, or brainstorming workshops during which everyone gets together to come up with real ideas to positively influence the world around us.
These events can be organised at your request and you’ll be cordially invited to each and every one of them.
Left and right: brainstorming - calm to begin with, then excited by the solutions found!
OK, so I get the project, but who are you?
We are a team of young budding entrepreneurs, who love what we’re doing. There’s Aurélien, aka Mr Circular Economy, who has always dreamed of supporting his local economy and giving something back to Mother Earth by composting. He was the first to take the plunge and decided to set up a ‘Ruche Qui Dit Oui!’ in Etterbeek, Brussels. That’s where he met Hannah, who worked for a farming organisation. Aurélien told Hannah about his dream of starting a joint venture and setting up a 100% circular shop.
Hannah and Aurélien have a strong team behind them. There’s Aline, the ever-smiling cyclist and marketing expert; Ieva, the fountain of all shop-related knowledge; Dimitri, master taster and discoverer of fantastic products; and of course Eddy, beer maestro extraordinaire!
As well as this network of wonderful people, we are supported by many Brussels partners who believe in our project and have supported us from the outset. Here’s a handful of them...
So now that you’ve understood the project and who we are, let’s get down to serious business, because...
It’s more than organic, it’s YOUR-ganic ;)
We need you, not only to help us out financially, but also in making this all happen. We’re all about community spirit, so welcome you and your ideas with open arms. Feel like painting the walls? We’ve got plenty of paint brushes! Fancy a stroll around the neighbourhood to hand out flyers? Welcome on board! Know a farmer or producer who might like to join us? Introduce us! Looking for something specific that we don’t yet have in the shop? Let us know! Love compost? Become a master composter!
So what do I, as a reader, get out of this?
On top of that warm, cosy feeling of satisfaction at having contributed to something fabulous, we also have a lot of great rewards. Below is an overview. For more details, have a look to the right of the screen.
It takes more than a pretty penny to open up a shop like ours. We’re talking at least €75,000. We’ve invested €21,000 of our own savings and we are also the happy winners of the call for projects ‘Be Circular’, which will give us €45,000. If you fancy a bit of bedtime reading, check out our application (in French) here. We want our project to be as ‘open source’ as possible to encourage others to follow in our footsteps with no fear.
As young entrepreneurs, we need your support to make ends meet. With this crowd funding campaign, we’re aiming to source the remaining €9,000 (and more!) that we need. KissKissBankBank takes 5% of the total amount, and 3% goes on banking fees.
Own savings - crowd funding - call for projects
Our financial plan has been rubberstamped by experts: banks, accountants, and our partners. It sets out exactly how the €75,000 will be used. The pie chart below outlines our expenses.
Setting up - refurbishment - tenancy deposit
Investment in material - stock - cash cushion
The €9,000 we’re looking for here will help us kit out the shop and buy the material we absolutely need.
The first €3,000 will help us keep our cool… It’ll be spent on two fridges for our delicious dairy products, local meat and North Sea fish.
€6,000 will bring enlightenment. Our electrician will sort out the lighting and electrics in the shop. A good few coats of high quality paint on the walls and new flooring will complete the makeover and freshen it all up.
Our plans most definitely won’t be shelved with €9,000 - we’ll invest in shelves galore! We’ll display our fruit and vegetables, dry food, cosmetics, cleaning products, fruit juice and other liquids (olive oil, etc.) in style.
If we collect more than our target and get some €12,000, we won’t sulk, we’ll buy bulk! We dream of tailormade shelving units with as many self-service food dispensers as possible. The only drawback is that one single shelving unit with all the frills costs €3,000…
Let’s aim high, what would we do with €15,000? Throw a massive party? Of course not, we’d put the money towards our tenancy deposit to definitively put down our ROOTS! That and we’d spoil you rotten at our opening party of course.