The Honey Tree is an independent social enterprise which has been trading in Heaton, Newcastle since 1999. Our founding aim was to put local, healthy and organic food on the map in Newcastle. And we wanted to create jobs in our local economy – all in way that was respectful to the environment and the welfare of all. Our shop is now literally brimming with vibrant, sustainably sourced, healthy food. And our positive customer base really helps us to continue to adapt and improve our service.
Sustainability and organic food
20 years has been a long time in the ethical grocery sector. But it’s been a pleasure to see a lot of our concerns regarding food and sustainability reach the level of everyday conversations. Initially concerns about food quality often brought customers to our door. But recently the larger implications of short term approaches to food production and the environment are a major driving force.
Because we source our fresh produce directly from growers and suppliers locally and across the UK, we are able to select not only the best quality, but also work with farms and producers who share our wider values and goals. The proof we hope is in the pudding. When short cuts are avoided food tastes better, and we hope is worth any extra cost. Above all, we hope our customers enjoy shopping with us.
20 years ago there weren’t even such things a Community Initiative Company’s. The business was started independently in 1999 with mixed funding from project north east and the princes trust. The money customers spend in-store each week goes to paying fair wages, paying suppliers a proper price, and developing the business.
As part of our social focus, we have worked over the years in partnerships to addresses different social problems which have overlapped with the cooperative grocery trade.
We worked have alongside the likes of defra, the soil association, slow food, and northumbria organic producers to address such issues as food quality in schools, animal welfare, and the affordability of organic food. And we are currently working to support small local farmers and growers up-scale their production, so more organic food can be grown locally for sale in the north east.
The Guardian’s Good Food Guide
Rick Stein’s Food Heroes of Britain
Rose Prince of the Daily Telegraph.
BBC Olive Magazine
Cbeebies I can cook
Living North Magazine