Rising costs blamed for imminent closure of Our Kitchen social shop in Margate

Our Shop in Margate when it opened Photo Caroline Dyal

The Our Kitchen shop in Margate High Street will shut in March after being hit with rising costs.

In a message about the closure on March 3, SEK say: “Sadly, Our Kitchen in Margate will be closing on the 3rd March 2023. Our Kitchen at St Georges Church, Ramsgate will be open as normal.

“As you will all be aware, costs of many items for both individuals and organisations have increased significantly. Our Kitchen has now received a bill for energy costs of nearly £30,000. This, coupled with increased waste and food costs, has made running the Margate site unviable.

“We have spoken with the Margate Independent Food Bank, who have assured us that all Our Kitchen customers are welcome.

“We would like to thank our customers, staff and volunteers for their continuing support of Our Kitchen. We will do our best to continue to support our local community in these difficult times.

“We are looking for other options to support people in Margate. We are still committed to supporting residents of Thanet through SEK community and wellbeing projects; and we are reassured that Margate clientele will continue to have the opportunity to access low-cost groceries in the high street.”

In a social media post on Our Kitchen’s page, it adds: “We want to say a huge thank you to all who have played a part in the success of the Margate store. The manager and volunteers have done a brilliant job. All Our Kitchen staff and volunteers are absolutely amazing and provide a fantastic service for our customers. We are so grateful for their hard work and commitment.”

Where it began

In August 2020, in collaboration with Thanet council, Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet took over the premises at 51 High Street to host an affordable food club shop with meal kits, chances to learn new recipes, useful information sessions on nutrition and opportunities to taste new products.

Our Kitchen was a community interest company headed up by Ramsgate resident Sharon Goodyer and run with input from trustees, staff and volunteers.

The social supermarket, which was later joined by a second site in Ramsgate, was the result of the Our Kitchen on the Isle of Thanet scheme which first launched  in Cliffsend in 2017 and then as a Summer Kitchen in  2018 – serving some 1,642 meals to families during the  holidays and based at Drapers Mills primary and  Dame Janet primary.

Our Kitchen

During the pandemic the Kitchen adapted to become one of the suppliers of food to people in need across Thanet.

It then trialled a food club ‘social supermarket’ – with quality, health food at low prices –at Drapers Mills primary .before signing a nil-rent lease with Thanet council for the High Street shop.

Last year Sharon retired from the CIC and the reins were passed to Social Enterprise Kent (SEK) which planned to expand the shops with the introduction of services for employability, social prescribing, health checks.

But it has now been announced that the Margate site will close due to ‘significantly increasing’ costs, including the large utility bill.

Our Kitchen at St Georges Church, Ramsgate will remain open.

Sharon Goodyer

Sharon Goodyer, who is working on a new healthy affordable food scheme with Royal Harbour Academy in Ramsgate, said she is in talks with a charity which, if the nil-rent can be kept, may take over the Margate Our Shop.

She added: “It is very difficult to run a social enterprise in food at the moment, you need a certain set of skills, passion ad a belief in people.

“I am hopeful that if TDC will continue to grant that base free of charge, then I can find a charity to run it.”

Sharon says her new scheme will be ‘bigger’ than her previous projects and will help feed many families.


  1. That’s a shame that it has got to close because of the rising cost of everything, ironically, reason the kitchen is most needed.
    That’s why I think climate change is a major con, if the government can stop the climate getting warmer it will mean the public can continue to be ripped off by the utilities on our energy bills. We are paying the most in Europe. Our bill has risen from £89 per month to £336. Sunak stays warm at the taxpayers expense in Number 10

    • The people of Thanet voted for a Tory MP and got a Tory Prime Minister. If they wanted cheap for and energy they wouldn’t have voted for inflation. Boris, Mogg, Give et al said people know exactly what they were voting for, and to say they didn’t is to say the public are stupid. It’s looks like the public must be stupid.

  2. Is the one further down the high street not the same people they seem to be busy all the time of course they would say that as it was supported by the KCC division member for North Thanet and it’s council elections in may they know that this has been caused following covid and the Ukraine war and Russia are to blame fact.

  3. Half a million plus every year for the Turner so a few people can stick old rags/shapes on walls, 4 million for Dreamland. When will these bureaucrats sort out the real funding priorities?

    • Exactly…….but it seems no one is interested in finding money to support schemes that really help people to live better in these hard times. Plenty of money for art though, sadly. But why is helping people so far down on the agenda? TDC should be doing something to help.

        • Labour are institutionally racist. Will you apologise? Remember that, according to your leader sir Keir Starmer Lord of the toolmakers, refusing to apologise is an example being racist. So come on Baz, apologise. We’ll wait.

      • Yep indeed, art funding will not provide the people with the basics they desperately need.

        Down my way, there is a high street junction area where homeless meet up, Usually its quiet in January/February but now its same as the summer months now.
        These people are locals and many new comers, more new than locals today.

        But no one with influence cares

      • Wheres your low cost cafe Donna? You make expensive inaccessible vegan food and sell it at a middle class farmers markets. You also make a few items for a food bank well done pat on your back which stinks of virtue signalling! You and your partner share you charitable endeavour online like unfollowable social media Influencers, have a reality check.

    • Steve

      Bang on the money !

      But those few people are I guess are rich and vote tory.

      It’s a National disgrace that the art sector gets so much of our taxes when more important things like food and heat are so expensive. But never mind the people who go to the Turner centre properly havent even noticed the increase in food and heat

      • Not everyone who votes Tory are rich, some vote purely for them because they’re stupid. I was chatting to someone from Broadstairs recently and I mentioned Craig MacKinlay but they didn’t know who we was. I corrected myself and said “oh, of course, yours is Roger Gale, we’ve got a different one here in Ramsgate”. He looked at me blankly and said “who’s Roger Gale?” I told him it’s the name of his MP. He said “I dunno, I vote Tory because my dad does but I don’t know his name or what he stands for”.

        • And multitudes read the Daily Mirror and vote Labour just because their parents did, and because they think they’re supposed to.

      • Can any funding given to “art” be diverted to feed people or keep this food bank going?

        If so please explain how.

  4. Embarrassing situation for SEK taking over an organisation and close half of it down. The reality is if they have £30k electric bill I’m shocked why didn’t SEK not do correct due diligence before they took it over? also why wasn’t a correct neogiated lease agreement not put in place? by the sounds of it Sharon got at the right time before they went bust and could no longer be a director for any company. This sounds like irresponsible behaviour from all involved …Waiting for a crowdfunder.

    • Wasn’t a well known Margate personality involved in Margate with SEK until very recently & may well be standing for election in May? It is very sad situation, the manager there was doing an excellent job.

  5. Gentrification initiatives are soaring in areas perceived to be “on the up”, such as Margate, and it’s very welcome.

    I would certainly like to see Margate become much more prosperous, even if it means an influx of more London money.

    The simple fact of the matter is that nouveau riche Londoners are wealthier through the career choices they’ve made and they want a seaside pad! If this wealth can augment Margate’s standing as a go-to destination then what’s to dislike?

    You are to blame for own shortcomings if you’ve eschewed learning and careers in favour of some dead-end job during the good times simply because it’s mind-numbingly simple and easy to do. Now costs are rising, such jobs have now become economically untenable and now indifference has caught up with you.

  6. K.C.C. T.D.C. the Town Council’s and multi million pound companys remind me of The Sheriff of Nottingham. Take from the poor and give to the rich. They don’t seen to help people who need help. SHAME ON YOU. But do you really care with your extortionate wages and pension schemes ???

  7. Donna, I fully agree with some councils now are planning to fine households £300 for using wood burning stoves to keep warm they will be stopping us wearing warm clothing next. We have family in Norway and they have to use log burners and the government / councils turn a blind eye to it because Heat pumps do not keep people warm they are useless so many breaking down that it takes months to get them fixed and they are very expensive to get fixed, even when they do mend them they are still useless.

    • If ever you needed a change of career you could set up as a Heating and Ventillation Consultant.
      Your brilliant insights into the efficiency and economy of heat pumps would be priceless.
      Wood burning stoves, using improperly dried wood, in stoves without proper linings, emit particles that are harmful, and can exacerbate the conditions of people suffering from bronchitis (for example) to the point of death.
      Heat pumps don’t do that.

        • Rich corporations ands tax dodging Nom Dom billionaires are the issue. Not a few million that goes to “art”

          It’s such a right wing construct to want to defund all art.

          Funnel some of the billions and billions the top 5% are hoarding and increasing whilst the rest of us struggle.

          • Agree you have big brands avoiding paying the correct tax. Big football club in the premier league based registered in the Carmen Islands.

            St Marcus Rashford uses off shore account for his money to reduce his tax bill yet moans about kids going hungry. He got an OBE or something yet he avoids paying the correct tax. You couldnt make it up. Yet the press/media in this country turn a blind eye to it. Making him out to be the saver of kids going hungry yet at the same time he is trying to pay as little as possible to the treasury.

            People really do need to wake up to what is going on

  8. I pay the least amount of tax possible, like Sir Marcus Rashford. We’re not in the same league (!) but the principle is the same. Show me a man or woman who voluntarily pays *more* tax than they should!
    A consequence of Marcus Rashford’s action is that tens if thousands of children who might have gone hungry, didn’t. Have you managed to remotely achieve anything similar?

  9. I dont see how you can complain about the government not giving meals to kids, when yourself avoids paying the correct tax. He just has a good PR agent

  10. You can bet that SEK will have asset stripped this before sacking it off. It is what they do best. Come in, hoover up the money and leave communities worse off for it. And to think, their former CEO now has an OBE for doing this kind of thing. Whole organisation is rotten.

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