A conversation about care and connection

This podcast conversation with Ruth Anslow, one of the founders of the independent supermarket HiSBe, explores many of ideas that are at the heart of our purpose: care unbound. In particular she describes two things that really resonate with us at Here:

  • How ‘taking care of ourself’ happens in so many of the every day choices we make in life – what we eat, how much we eat, where we shop, where we choose to spend our money, how we treat each other, how we treat our environment. Whether we are in ‘good health’ is about so much more than medicine, treatment and GP surgeries and hospitals.
  • The transformative possibilities that open up for people and the organisations they create when we begin designing new systems and work with purpose.

HiSBe stands for: How It Should Be.

So the HiSBe supermarket is a very different type of business to the standard supermarkets we see on the high street. Ruth tells us all about how she and her sister Amy first developed the vision for a new kind of supermarket system where the suppliers, the customer and the people work in the shop can all be winners. As the sign above the door to the shop puts it: happiness over profit.

Investing in HiSBe through our start-up fund

When I heard that the local social enterprise HiSBe were seeking investment for a second supermarket premises in Brighton early in 2017 I was excited because their purpose – ‘the HiSBe way’ – chimes so closely with our own purpose.  A long-term loan from our start-up fund was a tangible way to support an organisation with whom we have so much in common.

As I began to understand their approach –  thinking about how a food shop could have a huge influence on the health and wellbeing of the community it serves, and taking a blank piece of paper to the supermarket model – I became even more excited. The story that Ruth shares in this podcast conversation describes a similar road of learning that we’re travelling on together with our partners at Here – moving from a place of scarcity and fear to one of possibility.

I hope you enjoy listening to Ruth’s story, and if it inspires you to want to have a conversation with us about the possibilities that you are seeing for growing care in the world, please get in touch.

You can contact us at Find out more about our start-up fund.

Conversation notes:

  • The need to reinvent the supermarket model (1min 9 seconds)
  • Where the idea for HiSBe came from (2mins 15 seconds)
  • The location of HiSBe’s shop – making it accessible (3 mins 45 seconds)
  • The HiSBe pricing model – competing with mainstream supermarkets (5 mins 30 seconds)
  • Helping people buy just what they need (7 minutes)
  • How engaged are we with what we buy and what we eat? (8 mins, 30 seconds)
  • What is ‘the HiSBe way’? (10 minutes 32 seconds)
  • Using purpose as the foundation of the business (13 minutes 15 seconds)
  • Designing a supermarket system where everyone wins (14 minutes 30 seconds)
  • Financial realities – cashflow and business strategy (17 minutes, 20 seconds)
  • Ruth’s personal motivation to begin this journey and keep going (21 minutes 55 seconds)
  • The importance of self-care and asking for help on this journey (25 minutes 35 seconds)
  • Getting social investment for a new shop from Here’s start-up fund and elsewhere (26 minutes 30 seconds)
  • Future plans for HiSBe (30 minutes 45 seconds)
  • Staying in a place of possibility, letting go of fear (33 minutes 50 seconds)

The photo of Ruth that we’ve used with this story is reproduced by kind permission of Unltd.

Zoe Nicholson is Chief Executive of Here and works with our Enabling Team and our Board.

“My role is to tether the organisation to its purpose, working in our health and social care communities to understand what matters to citizens. I care deeply about helping people live better lives.”

Read Zoe’s blog

Follow Zoe on Twitter @zoenicholson4


tagged in Podcast, social enterprise, Start-Up Fund, systems thinking, what inspires us

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