A community shop that sells food and other items from prices starting as low as just 1p is planning to open in Broadstairs – and is in the running to pitch the business to mogul Sir Richard Branson and scoop a share of £1million prize money.
Nifties is the creation of husband and wife team Nathaniel and Bethany Richards.
The couple, who have three children, have been running the social supermarket in Dover since 2016, initially starting the business in their front room. They are now planning to open at the Pysons Road industrial estate.
Last year they had hoped to secure a spot in Ramsgate High Street but letting issues prompted a change to the property in Blenheim Close.
The store redistributes items that are past the best before date, short dated and damaged approved food and drink items. They access the items from wholesalers, retailers and manufacturers and sell them on to people across the country either through the shop or online, with an average price of 70p and a top price, for food items, of £1.50.
The couple say the aim is to help people who are either too proud or not eligible for food bank aid but find themselves struggling to make ends meet.
Nathaniel and Bethany are urging people to help them in a bid to win funding from Virgin Voom Business Awards for Social Impact – and say it could mean the launch of shops across the country and help them employ up to 10 people at the Pysons Road store.
The competition is open to public vote and Nifties currently stands in second position in the small business section.
Nathaniel said: “This has the potential to be a game changer. My wife and myself have helped nearly 50,000 people with food, including those affected by Grenfell. If we win this award we could help millions for many years to come.
“If we win we could open 20 to 30 shops up and down Kent and the rest of the UK! We could finally make a sizeable dent in this massive problem (of food poverty) affecting millions.”
The latest report from WRAP says there is 10 million tonnes annually of commercial food waste. The number of three-day emergency food supplies given to people in crisis by Trussell Trust foodbanks in the financial year 2016-2017 was more than 1.1 million.
Nathaniel, 27, said:”If we win this with the generous support from the public we could increase our stock range tenfold, acquire a van and increase our contribution to charities significantly.
“To show people our gratitude we are giving away a multitude of prizes ranging from £100 cash to Champagne and perfume, so please get everyone you know to vote! This could genuinely improve the life of millions.”
The competition closes on May 15 at 7pm. The 80 entrants with the most votes go before a panel of judges on May 21 and will be whittled down to 6 finalists.
On May 23 they will pitch to the judges and Richard Branson will choose two winners.
To be in with a chance of winning the Nifties prizes you need to vote and share the post. The draw will be on May 16.
For more information contact Nifties on firstname.lastname@example.org