Brighton (UK)-based ‘rebel supermarket’ HISBE says it will now open its second store early next year.

In January, HISBE successfully raised £450,000  for expansion, through Triodos Bank’s crowdfunding platform and planned to open its second store, in Worthing, in May. The Coronavirus pandemic changed that, but this week the retailer announced a January 2021 opening date for the store, along with a new ‘Back to Better’ campaign to engage people in “better food and farming”. 

The campaign taps into gathering optimism that lessons from the Covid crisis can be harnessed for positive change. HISBE, founded in Brighton as a social enterprise in 2013, says a noticeable shift in the way the public views food, and the realisation that there is a now valuable opportunity to tackle the issues in the food industry, offers renewed hope. 

“We’re grateful that the business has made it through this difficult time and happy to find there’s a sort of new appreciation for good food and independent food businesses”

HISBE co-founders Ruth and Amy Anslow and Jack Simmonds. Via Facebook

Ruth Anslow, who launched HISBE’s pilot store in Brighton in 2013 with her sister Amy and their friend Jack Simmonds, comments: “It’s been a crazy six months since March when, like for everyone else, a virus-shaped spanner was thrown into our works… no sooner had we signed a lease on the Worthing premises and raised the money to refit it, when everything changed. Our Brighton shop was suddenly in survival mode. But we were committed to staying open, to keep good food flowing, keep our staff in their jobs and protect our suppliers’ livelihoods. We’re grateful that the business has made it through this difficult time and happy to find there’s a sort of new appreciation for good food and independent food businesses.

“So, these are uncertain times, but there is also opportunity,” she continued. “HISBE is delighted to announce that we will open our second store, in Worthing, in January 2021. And we’ve launched a new campaign called “back to better” to show more people what we do and invite them to switch from their regular supermarket to ours. After all, why go back to normal, when you can go back to better?”