Blue Mountains News

Lyttleton Stores in Lawson is Celebrating a Major Milestone!

Source: Lyttleton Stores
Archived 8 Mar 2019 - Posted: 10 Jan 2019
Lyttleton Stores co-ordinators past and present: Emmanuela Prigioni, Eloise Crossman, Jacinta Carmichael-Parissi, Allegra Benmayor and Charlotte Craib (left to right) - Photo Luisa Brimble
People in Lawson, the Blue Mountains and beyond are celebrating with Lyttleton Stores as it reaches its third birthday and successfully transitions to a not-for-profit community-owned co-operative.

Founded by sisters Nina (Adelina) and Jacinta as a family business, they always envisioned its development into a community-run co-op. With wonderful community support it has reached its goal sooner than expected. Workers have always been involved in running the business, but now the broader community can become members and contribute to fundamental decision-making.

The inspiring team of workers has reached their 3rd anniversary since opening this wonderful source of sustainably grown foods, local artisan products and sustainable living workshops for now and the future. Workshops include gardening, preserving, baking and developing creative skills for low waste living.

The Dept of Fair Trading has just approved their transition from a family business to a community not-for-profit co-operative. This has been achieved by the support of the community through a successful crowdfunding campaign earlier this year.

Lyttleton co-op members will not only contribute to the running of the co-op, but can gain a discount when they shop or book into workshops and events and sign up as volunteers.

While there are still finishing touches to be completed for registration of the Lyttleton co-op, the processes are underway and should be completed by early next year.

The shop is situated in a beautiful heritage listed building first built in the 1880’s as the home of the first shop in Lawson. The produce store has a strong focus on ethically, organically and regeneratively grown food sourced as locally as possible. The shop as a whole actively supports the necessary transition to regenerative farming methods and small scale, ethical, environmentally conscious living.

The commercial kitchen transforms any excess produce into preserves and pickles, reducing waste to a bare minimum. Any remaining foodstuffs are composted and transformed into rich compost for the garden next to the shop. Workshops on backyard growing, permaculture, soil health, basket weaving, making beeswax wraps and cooking, support our understanding of the importance of healthy lifestyles and environments. 

The artisan shop also focuses on local Australian handmade wares. The seasonal Makers Markets provide an opportunity for people to meet local creative artisans, or to showcase their own handmade objects. The Window Gallery allows artists to exhibit for a month with a well-catered opening night followed by a community dinner. Art workshops include life drawing and botanical art.

Most workshops and events take place in the Preserve workshop space, which doubles up as a Community Hub space when not in use. The Lyttleton Community Hub provides a communal space for people during weekdays, where they can gather, work, use the free wifi, read from the reference library, eat a lunch bought in store, or simply make a hot drink for a small donation.

Very early on, sisters Jacinta and Nina who opened the stores knew that the project was to develop into a community enterprise. They knew that in order to combat the lack of political action in halting unsustainable practices, community building and local action was required.

The idea that customers could connect with each other, with farmers, makers and teachers of workshops grew from the belief that in the face of rapid climate change it is necessary to become more interconnected and create self sufficient, low-waste communities.

To find out more about the philosophy and aims of the new co-operative visit Lyttleton Stores at 1 Badgery Cres, Lawson, and speak to staff or visit the website.

This article archived 8 Mar 2019

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