HISBE Food is a social enterprise supermarket with shops in Brighton and Worthing and a focus on local suppliers, packaging-free food, values-led brands, and sustainable shopping options.

In January 2020 HISBE raised funds to open their store on Portland Road in Worthing town centre. The pandemic hit just weeks after signing the lease on the premises. But against all odds, the local supermarket still managed to open its Worthing store, in January 2021.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, customers in Worthing have spent over £600k at HISBE’s tills and HISBE has spent over half of that money on Sussex suppliers, staff, and services. For every £1 you spend at HISBE stores, they spend 57p in the local economy, whereas when you spend £1 at the big supermarkets, they spend only 5p in the local economy.

Shifting consumer habits are helping social enterprises like HISBE to expand in challenging times – with 60% of consumers reported to be making more environmentally friendly, sustainable, or ethical purchases since the start of the pandemic [source: Accenture survey.]

So now HISBE is asking Brighton and Worthing shoppers the question “Why go back to normal, when you can go back to better?” They want to inspire more people to rely less on the big supermarkets and to make sustainable swaps in their food shop, be it big or small.

HISBE social enterprise uk

Ruth Anslow, HISBE Co-founder: “We had such a struggle to get our Worthing store going given the circumstances, but the feedback from our customer survey makes it all worth it! People praised the produce, staff, and environment – and when we asked customers how likely they would be to recommend HISBE to others on a scale of 0-10, 830 out of 1267 respondents said 10. We invite everyone to visit our stores and experience first-hand the difference a local independent supermarket can make.”  

Sample quotes from Worthing customers in the survey: –

“Brilliant, helpful, different kind of SUPERmarket.”

“A great unique local shop stocking high-quality local goods with a strong emphasis on higher welfare and environmentally friendly products with a range that you would struggle to find in any other shop.”

“If everyone shopped at wonderful independents like HISBE with plastic free loose fruit and veg, refill section and local/sustainable ethos we really would be doing something positive for the climate emergency – and great coffee and cakes too. I love HISBE.”

“A supermarket that actually cares – and sells great produce. It’s a little more expensive usually but it’s worth getting a little less because it’s better quality. It feels really nice and welcoming and modern in there too, a way nicer experience than normal shops.”

-Ends-

Notes to Editors

For further information and photos please contact: Ruth Anslow, at HISBE Food – ruth.anslow@hisbe.co.uk |07732 746 469

About HISBE

HISBE (which stands for How it Should Be) was created to transform the food industry because right now it just isn’t sustainable. There needs to be a great shift in the way people shop for food and we think supermarkets can be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

The supermarket runs on a social enterprise model and does things very differently to the big supermarkets. You can do your whole shop at HISBE, but you won’t find any big corporate brands on the shelves; instead, you will find more healthy, sustainable, and considered versions of everyday products. As a social enterprise (CIC) HISBE has impact embedded into its governance and financing structure as well as through its operations and activities.

HISBE’s distinct brand is based on five principles:

  • ETHICS-LED. HISBE is independently certified for authentic ethical trading practices by The Living Wage Foundation, Social Enterprise UK, The Social Enterprise Mark and The Ethical Consumer Org. 68p of every £1 customers spend gets passed on to suppliers – and staff get the Real Living Wage.
  • SUSTAINABILITY. Developed a sourcing policy based on principles of sustainability, including local, seasonal, high-welfare, nature friendly and low waste. Make sustainable shopping easy, by editing choice, putting the good stuff under one roof and making it as accessible and affordable as possible.
  • LOCAL. Local produce now accounts for 43% of all HISBE’s spend on stock and is a constantly growing proportion of the offer. HISBE prioritises local Sussex suppliers and 51% of all fresh food is local. Invests money in the local economy by spending 57p of every £1 that goes through the tills in Sussex.
  • LOW WASTE. Zero to landfill and never throws away food that can be eaten. Offers many products packaging-free, so customers can buy only what they need. Since 2014 customers have saved 390,000 bits of plastic packaging by buying fruit & veg loose, 490,000 bits by buying “nude food” from HISBE’s Refill Stations and saved 82,000 new plastic bottles by refilling liquids from the Refill Bar.
  • COMMUNITY. Delivers a friendly, community vibe in-store, online and in person around the city. Active members of the good food community, working with B&H Food Partnership on their “gold food city” bid to have B&H recognised as gold standard by the Sustainable Food Cities Network.

Brighton store address:       20-21 York Place, Brighton BN1 4GU

Worthing store address:      38-42 Portland Road, Worthing BN11 1QN