Case Study

Growing Social Impact with A Small Good Thing

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A Small Good Thing is a community greengrocer with a focus on seasonal, organic produce and waste reduction.

Karen and Emily

Ethical entrepreneurs

When Emily and Lisa approached me in 2017, they were a pop-up stall, selling fruit and veg from folding tables in the pub on a Saturday morning. They were about to take the first big step - leasing a property for their shop.

Emily and Lisa had big ideas, and were looking to embed real social value in their start up strategy.

Graphic recording

Developing the vision

We held the first of three coaching sessions before Lisa and Emily started looking for their premises. We engaged the services of a Graphic Recorder, Claire, who produced an engaging visual record of our session. This helped ASGT develop their vision, and they still refer to this piece of art, which now hangs in the store room of their shop.

“We needed to find out what we wanted to do as a business, and who the business was for. Who was our community? Karen worked with us to set out a road map of how to achieve our goals.”

Emily Cooke, A Small Good Thing

Impact objectives

Identifying their impact objectives

Using the vision statement, we developed a set of measurable impact objectives for the first five years of the business, then worked backwards to see how these might be achieved.

These impact objectives were rooted in ASGT’s vision. They inspired creative decision making during the start-up period – from employing local mental health community groups to fit the shelves, to arranging composting facilities for waste produce at the local allotment.

“We wanted to benefit our immediate community – it was really important for us to set up the shop where we live. We wanted to provide an ethical food supply, using sustainable food sources, and the opportunity to just buy what they needed and reduce their food waste.”

Veg boxes

Developing approaches to measuring impact

Setting up a new retail premises is time and labour intensive. ASGT needed a social measurement framework that allowed them to record and monitor their data in a sustainable way, during those tricky first months. We worked to devise a system that would deliver key metrics relevant to their vision, without the need for large scale data collection and analysis.

From strength to strength

A deliciously successful ethical business, A Small Good Thing were finalists in the ‘Best Shop’ category at the BBC Good Food And Farming Awards, 2019.