At Flo’s Trading we want to do it all! 

We want to provide a lovely, inclusive, reasonably priced cafe and refill shop for our community. To support the best, local, greenest suppliers AND to support our staff properly with decent pay and training. We also want to provide a nurturing environment, which employs and supports those with otherwise limited opportunities, and contribute significantly to the running costs of the centre – inorder to keep it in community ownership, provide nursery meals at zero profit, and support OX4 food crew initiatives such as Pay as You Feel Mondays….. 

Can we do it all and survive? To be totally honest I really don’t know…. And if we can’t, what do we prioritise?  It feels like the odds are increasingly stacked against ethical independent businesses like ours with costs going up, staff faced with higher cost of living and recruitment a particular challenge in our sector. 

Unlike our competitors we haven’t had tens of thousands of pounds to invest in professional kitchen equipment or company training schemes or fancy marketing or refurbs. We dont push our staff to maximise every second of their time, or benefit from bulk buying procurement. Yet we HAVE to keep prices accessible.

In this season of hibernation and consolidation, tons of behind the scenes work is going on stringently analysing costs and deciding how to balance our uncompromising principles. Is our ambition of charging less but spending more than our competitors totally naive? Well, maybe. But the spirit of Flo’s runs strong in our blood ; the spirit that says just because it’s idealistic doesn’t make it impossible.  Our whole concept is idealistic – and don’t we need more idealism right now? We have achieved the seemingly impossible before, and we hope that by honouring our values and paying attention to the delicate balance of really caring about our people, we will find a way to have and to give it all.

If you have any requests, suggestions or expertise to offer Flo’s Trading we would love your support – please email

‘Every purchase you make at Flo’s allows the centre to flourish and plays an useful role in the community‘

Pippa Hamwee- Trading Manager at Flo’s, 2nd February 2023

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