The Suma buying group was set up as part of Transition Chester’s activities for a variety of reasons:

  • To provide a source of ethically sourced wholefoods and  household consumables at lower cost
  • To minimise the amount of packaging by purchasing items in bulk quantities
  • To provide an ongoing and sustainable source of income to Transition Chester whilst meeting needs of group members.

Support Local Traders!

Whilst Transition Chester has  established the Suma buying group to meet some of its needs and those of a few of its members the group wholeheartedly supports the various small, locally owned, businesses that trade in Chester and nearby.

They are able to supply many of the same items in smaller quantities, but on a retail basis.

We would suggest that people, whenever possible, support Chester’s recently established “no package shop” ‘Just Footprints’ which is located in the Forum precinct in Northgate Street.

Other retailers in the Chester area offering items from Suma on a retail basis (usually in packaged form) include:

Imagine a workplace with no bosses, where everyone has equal pay and an equal say.

Well at Suma they’ve been doing things a bit differently for over 40 years. Not only in their mission to supply everything vegetarian and sustainable, but also in how they are run.

A co-operative of ordinary people built on integrity and equality, Suma is a worker co-op, a business owned and run by the nearly 200 people who work there. They don’t have any bosses or shareholders. Suma’s employees set the direction of the business. Everyone has an equal say in what it does. All get paid the same wage, take responsibility and each do a range of jobs each week, from truck driving to cooking to accounts.

It means that when you meet someone who works at Suma, you’re meeting a co-owner who knows and cares about the business. Your driver might work in accounts and product development when she’s not out on the road, so she can give you the bigger picture.

How our buying group works

Each month the Suma volunteer Coordinator informs those who are part of the buying group when the delivery is to be made and what are the ordering deadlines.

Each person in the group then accesses the Suma online account and places their order adding a 5% surcharge which goes to Transition Chester.

Provided the total of all orders achieves the minimum required for a wholesale delivery without charge (currently £345) then the order goes ahead ready for delivery to the delivery point at the Coordinator’s home in central Chester

On delivery day each person placing an order comes to collect their order (once the volunteer coordinator has sorted each of the orders that makes up the total delivery).

Each person then pays the appropriate amount into the Transition Chester Bank account so that the invoice from Suma can then be paid.

New Group?

Whilst the buying group is at it maximum size, given the way we currently operate it is poossible that we could set up one or more ‘Satellite’ delivery points in the Chester area which would operate as a ‘linked’ buying group with its own local coordinator.

If this interests you, and you think you could help as a volunteer coordinator for deliveries in your area, please contact us through this website.