History

Colin and Michelle Peile had been running a small organic buying group since 2004.  In October 2012, Colin and Michelle approached their customers about working together to build on the buying group to develop a new style of business, one that was based on co-operation and a concern for the community and the environment.   The Gap LOCO emerged out of these conversations.

Colin and Michelle’s buying group had been providing organic fruit and vegies to a loyal band of about 20 regular customers.   A meeting with Deb Leigh, Stewart Jones, Monique Filet, Kate Donnelly, Michael Finn, Michele Ferguson and Rob Gaines decided to try to put into practice this new style of business.  This group began looking for people who wanted to be workers in the co-op and others who would form a reference (or support group) to help develop and implement the whole idea.

The new co-op started in January 2013 with Deb, Col, Michelle, Kate and Monique as workers.  Kate joined soon after and Camille in 2014. On the 29th October, 2013 after a long process we obtained our registration as a worker cooperative under the Cooperatives Act of 1997.  Having got our unique rules approved by the Office of Fair Trading means others who would like to adopt our model will be able to do so more easily.  More can be read about our approach under "a new model"

In June 2014 we partnered with Save Our Waterways Now (SOWN) environment group to renovate their shed at Yoorala Street and fitted out the back half of the shed into a retail shop space.  The shed is owned by Brisbane City Council.  

In November 2015, SOWN relinquished the lease and BCC offered the space to The Gap/Ashgrove Men’s Shed who were having trouble finding a venue.    Unfortunately, The Men's shed have not been prepared to support and share the space with the Gap LOCO and after 4 years we will have to find a new place to operate.  Hopefully we will find somewhere soon.

We now have 50 regular customers, are selling about $250,000 of certified organic produce a year and have created about 50 hours of paid work per week.  It’s good to be making this contribution to organics and a new style of cooperative business but we hope to keep growing as our way of supporting the health of our customers, farmers and the planet.  Hopefully we will be able to support another LOCO in the future.