Community is really important to us, perhaps even more important than beer! As we approach our 3rd birthday, we’ve been reflecting on the amazing Chapter One customer community and we often marvel at how creative and innovative you are. To celebrate this, we’re launching what will hopefully be a regular event – Swap Shop!
Among their many varied talents, Chapter One customers have been telling us about the amazing things they create with their own hands at home. Jams, home brewed beer, art, bread, pastries, soaps, whittled spoons, cookies, vegan snacks, kombucha, sauerkraut, pickles, pesto, home grown fruit & veg, preserves…the list is endless! We think these talents should be shared and propose to host a Swap Shop where community members can come and exchange the handmade fruits of their labour with each other. No money shall be exchanged, it will be produce for produce, spoon for soap, jam for cookies. There will be no arbitration, we’ll set up a loose structure that will allow for the display and sharing of products and then it’ll be down to community members to agree to exchanges.
This is a first for us, so we’ll be learning as we go, taking inspiration from other Food Swaps and Pantry Swaps from around the world. We will be adding more details to this page soon. In the meantime, The Food Swap Network has a few handy tips for swappers at https://foodswapnetwork.com/faq-for-attendees/.
What can I bring to Swap?
If you made it at home, then the answer is most likely yes! It certainly doesn’t have to be food.
How much should I bring?
That’s up to you and entirely depends on what you make. One person may bring 10 jars of jam or bottles of beer, someone else may bring one loaf of bread, and another 3 packs of biscuits.
How do I know if my item is worth trading?
This is a hard one to answer, but for our first swap we recommend you bring something you’d be happy exchanging for a jar of home made jam. Of course you’re welcome to aim for more ambitious exchanges but it’s down to you to negotiate your swap.
Can I provide samples?
Absolutely! Feel free to break up a couple of biscuits, open up a jar of jam, pour out some beer, but please provide your own containers/sticks/sample cups. We can’t possibly anticipate your every need.
Should I wrap my item up?
Where possible, it would be advisable to package any loose items like baked goods before the event to facilitate smoother exchanges. Or you may want to bring along some takeaway containers or bags for your fellow swappees to take your goodies home with them. Again, it would be impossible for us to anticipate everyone’s needs for packaging, so you need to provide your own.
Can I just bring money and buy items?
Sorry, no, the point of Swap Shop is for people to trade home made items with each other. We’d hazard a guess there’s something you make at home that someone would be interested in – Gran’s famous scone recipe? Kimchi Mayo? Sloe gin?
What if I don’t want to trade?
Each trade should be mutually beneficial, and people have varied tastes and dietary requirements. If someone wants to trade some home made yoghurt for your vegan cookies, you might not be that enthusiastic about accepting a dairy based product! You are more than welcome to decline a trade offer, but we ask that you do so politely and graciously. The same goes for those who wish to trade but get refused, don’t take it personally and please don’t be aggressive. “No, thank you” means “No, thank you”!
Can I swap an item I’ve already received in a previous trade for something different again?
Sure, if you want a complicated life and all parties are in agreement go for it. We aren’t here to abritrate or settle disputes, you’re all adults. We are just providing the space and a loose structure for this concept to grow!
What about making sure nobody gets sick?
Great question! Here are some handy guidelines for making sure you don’t accidentally make someone ill: https://www.food.gov.uk/safety-hygiene/providing-food-at-community-and-charity-events
Also, we’ll ask you to indicate any allergens in your product(s) on the day so please come prepared with that information. A list of allergens are listed here https://www.food.gov.uk/business-guidance/allergen-guidance-for-food-businesses
Please note: if you’re highly allergic to something you may want to avoid swapping for food items, home kitchens have a much higher potential for cross contamination of allergens than commercial ones.
I have a really great idea on how to make Swap Shop better next time!
Fab! Drop us an email and we’ll do our best to incorporate groovy ideas into future swaps.