What is Daily Bread Co-operative Cambridge?
Daily Bread is a wholefood shop promoting an ethical lifestyle through our working practices and the products we sell. It opened in 1992 as an offshoot of Daily Bread Northampton and based on similar principles. However, we are separate, independent businesses and our product ranges are different.

Are you a bakery?
No, we are a wholefood shop. We do not bake our own bread but get it from local bakers. The name Daily Bread is taken from the Lord’s Prayer and refers to the Christian ethos of the founders.

Are you part of the Co-operative Group?
No. We are an independent workers’ co-operative, owned and run collectively by its members.

What is a workers’ co-operative?
A workers’ co-operative is a business owned and democratically controlled by its members. All members are workers and there is no outside shareholders. The main purpose of a worker co-operative is to provide employment for its members through operating an enterprise that follows the following Co-operative Principles: Open and Voluntary Membership, Democratic Member Control, Members’ Economic Participation, Autonomy and Independence, Education, Training, and Information, Cooperation Among Cooperatives and Concern for Community.

What is a social firm?
Social Firms are businesses that create jobs or training opportunities for people normally hindered from getting a job due to disadvantage in the labour market.. They create supportive opportunities for disabled and disadvantaged people to work. At Daily Bread we have been focussing on providing work opportunities for people who experience mental health problems in order for them to gain work experience and to build confidence.

Can I speak to the manager please?
Daily Bread Cambridge is a co-operative with a flat management system meaning we do not have a manager as such. We operate with a different co-ordinator each day. Depending on the nature of your query you are likely to be referred to the co-ordinator of the day or the member of staff who is most likely to satisfactorily answer your question. Your query might also be taken to our weekly meeting for discussion.

Are your bags plastic? Are they recyclable?
Most of our packed-down range now comes in compostable, bio-degradable, plant-based packaging. Some products come in brown paper bags. Unfortunately, for various reasons, some of our products can’t be packed in this material yet. We are looking into alternatives. This is why in some instance we still have to use the degradable plastic bags we have been using for years. They contain an additive that causes the bag to degrade, to break down into smaller and smaller pieces, a process which is triggered by light and heat but will then continue even in darkness. The products of this degradation are water, carbon dioxide and a small amount of inert (non-reactive and non-toxic) mineral residue. Once the structure of the bags has broken down to a sufficiently small size, this residue becomes digestible by microorganisms in the ground, thus enabling the complete bio-degradation of the bag. Therefore, unlike conventional plastics which persist in the environment for many years, our bags will break down in a short amount of time (as short as two months in optimum conditions). Our bags are not recyclable precisely because of the additive that makes them biodegradable.

Can I bring back your bags for Daily Bread to reuse?
Unfortunately, we are unable to reuse bags as we operate under strict hygiene procedures in our food preparation area.

Can I bring my own containers to refill?
We now offer a range of refillable organic dry food, so you can bring your own container and refill at our shop dispensers. However, we cannot allow your container into our packing room to be refilled by us as we operate under strict hygiene procedures. This is to be able to preserve the traceability and quality control of what we pack and sell so that we are confident that the product you buy is, and remains of satisfactory quality when you take it home, and to be able to deal with any issues should they arise.

When are your fruit, vegetables and eggs delivered?
Our main deliveries come in on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. We get an extra delivery from Prospects Trust on Wednesdays.

When is your bread delivered?
We get bread daily from Cobs Bakery and twice weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays around lunch time from Dovecotes bakery. We get gluten free bread from the Incredible Bakery on Thursdays.

Can I order bread?
Bread tends to sell quickly and it is likely that by the end of the day you will not get what you want, especially because we try to minimize food waste. We are always happy to put aside bread or place a special order for you. Please give us a ring or speak to our staff at the till.

Your prices are going up, aren’t they?
Daily Bread combines being a social firm and a not-for-profit independent workers’ co-operative with providing quality products, as well as maintaining fair trade and environmentally friendly principles. We do our best to keep our prices to you as low as possible while being financially sustainable but for obvious reasons we can not be the cheapest option especially compared to high street supermarkets.

Our pricing policy is as sensible and fair as possible to our suppliers (we deal with high standards wholesalers, and we do not want producers to be squeezed along the line), to our staff (paying them fair wages in an empowering working environment), and to society at large (by being a social firm and supporting charitable causes).

When our prices change, it does not mean we are making more profit but only reflecting the ups and downs of very volatile commodity markets. Likewise, whenever we get a special offer from our wholesalers, we systematically pass it on to our customers.

Can you stock…?
We are always happy to look into new exciting products for you. However, the demand has to be sufficient for us to actually start stocking a product on a regular basis. If you would like us to consider stocking a new product, speak to a member of staff or write in our comment book in the coffee shop. Meanwhile, we may be able to get it for you as a special order.

Bulk buying
Most of the products we sell can be bought in bulk. We recommend that you place a special order as we don’t necessarily hold important stock of each item. It is always cheaper to buy a bulk sack or a full case of a product. Please note that the discount only applies to intact cases / trays / boxes. We are unable to offer it for items taken off the shelves that have been individually priced.

What charity do you support?
Daily Bread commits to donate a certain amount of its profits (historically around 10%) to charitable causes, local and worldwide. Each year, we decide on a list of charities to support. Among the organizations which benefited in the past years are: Shepreth Hedgehog Hospital, The Besom, Christians Against Poverty, Hover Aid, Arthur Rank Hospice, Hillside Shire Horse Sanctuary, Camcrag, Jimmy’s, Winter Comfort, Wateraid, The Red Balloon, East Anglia Children’s Hospices, Centre 33, Foodcycle, and many more.

Can I buy books from your coffee shop?
The books and magazines are not for sale. However you are very welcome to borrow them. Simply record your name, telephone number, the name of the book and the date on which you are borrowing it in the register. We recommend you do not borrow current issues of magazines and that you return books in due course.

Can I help myself to the vegetable garden?
Yes. The garden is tended by Growing Spaces (a Transition Cambridge project). The project aims to reclaim underused public spaces around the city and transform them using edible landscaping. We are very happy our green patch to be part of it. When vegetables are ripe and ready for harvest, please help yourself. It’s free.

Why do you stock products that contain palm oil?
In fact, a good part of our product range is naturally palm oil free because they are wholefood. Palm oil may be found in processed food (biscuits, spreads…). We are very aware of the issues at stake and so are our wholesalers. We try our best to stock palm oil free alternatives wherever possible. To the best our knowledge, all the palm oil contained in the products we sell is from sustainable plantations.

Are you a vegetarian shop?
Daily Bread Cambridge acknowledges the impact of meat production on living beings and on the environment by being a vegetarian shop with a strict non GMO, non-tested on animals policy.

Can I use any bottle to refill?
Yes. In principle, you may use any bottle to refill with cleaning / body care products at our refill station as long as it indicates a volume. We recommend you use standard, sensible sizes bottles so it makes the price easier to work out for our staff at the till. Also, for health and safety reasons, we recommend you do not use milk or juice bottles to avoid incidents especially with children.