FAQs

Everything you need to know about who we are and what we do.


We are in Emmer Green, in the north of Caversham over the bridge from Reading:

61 Grove Road, Emmer Green, Reading, RG4 8LJ

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Our Zero Waste foods are sold loose so that you can buy as much or as little as you want. You can also use your own containers so there is no packaging. Zero wastage for you, zero wastage for us and no packaging!

Bring your clean empty containers – jars, bags, bottles, Tupperware – ideally with a label on them to say what they weigh in grams, (for loose foods) and what they will hold in millilitres/litres (for liquid refills). For household items it’s a good idea to refill containers with whatever was in them originally, although we do provide labels.

Weigh and label your container if you haven’t already. Fill it with as much of any single product as you need. At the till, we will weigh the full container, deduct the weight of the container and change you for the contents. For liquids, we need to know the volume of the container, and will enter that value. If you’re not sure of the volume of a container, we can fill it with water and measure that before you fill it.

We have regular deliveries of fresh organic fruit and veg. We reduce the price as they start to move past their best. Once they’re at the point they need using that day, we ‘rootle’ them. This is a box where everything is £1 per kilo, regardless of what it is. It reduces food waste and gives people great value organic fruit and veg. We compost anything that doesn’t sell via rootle.

No – although you might want to once you get the hang of all this! We provide recycled paper bags and sell different sizes of cotton reusable bags for loose foods. For liquid refills, customers often bring empty plastic bottles that we clean and have available for other customers to take.

We offer a ‘special order’ service where we will try to source anything we don’t usually sell. There is a ‘special order’ form to complete and either email or drop in to the shop. We’ll check with our suppliers and let you know if we can source it and then let you know when it’s arrived. This saves customer delivery charges as we add these on to our existing weekly deliveries. And if it’s something that comes in a pack and you only want a few of them, we’ll sell the rest in the shop.

All of our stock information is available on our website in the ‘What we sell’ section. You can find out the price and whether the product is currently in stock, and this information is updated daily.

Yes. We have a daily delivery of fresh organic bread. Our range is slightly bigger on a Saturday as we have more customers.

Yes – we have a wide range of vegan products. Many of them are labelled in our stock list as vegan here. As we are an ethical shop, many of our products are vegan – it’s best to pop in and have a look at what we have.

Yes – you can search our website for ‘gluten free’, or pop in to see as many of our products are naturally gluten free. Fresh gluten-free bread is available to order.

It’s a social enterprise where members of the co-operative own the business equally. At True Food, all members have a £1 share in the business and, through an elected committee and five paid staff, run the business together. There are no other shareholders and, in our case, any profits are invested back into the business, or spent supporting community initiatives.

Most of our suppliers are certified as organic by one of the major certification organisations – like the Soil Association and Demeter. Some of our smaller local suppliers are not certified but we are confident that they are providing organic products through visits and our ongoing relationship.

We believe that organic represents the highest standards of food production, including animal welfare. Organic farming methods are more sustainable and better for the environment, and avoid the use of chemicals that are potentially harmful in the long term.

Members own and run True Food, from making business decisions, marketing, administration and working in the shop. Membership runs from January to December and costs £10, £1 of which is invested in True Food as a ‘share’ in our business. This investment gives you the chance to shape how we run and develop our business, and the obligation to be actively involved.

To apply for membership, please complete this form and take the second page into the shop along with your £10.

If members work at least three hours in a month, they can have a discount off their shopping with us the following month. The discount may vary from time to time.

The other member benefits depend on why people want to be involved. For some, it’s just getting out of the house and meeting people by working on the till, for others, we provide useful experience that can be used on CVs for example. Many are motivated by our values and want to be part of enabling positive changes in their local community.