Food Float is a community interest company, incorporated in 2009, run by the community for the community.
We aim to support the local economy by offering local profit-making food businesses a reliable outlet for their produce at a fair cost. We also work with a number of individuals, including home bakers and beekeepers. Food Float itself is organised on a not-for-profit basis.
Local residents carry out a variety of activities. Many have been involved since the earliest days of the project and others have become involved more recently. Four people receive payment for their work.
- Stephanie Wright, Former Chairman, Director and founding member. Sadly Stephanie died in 2019.
- Nick Wright, Chairman.
- Margaret Brett, Director. Margaret has brought to the Board the experience of a distinguished career in accountancy.
- Jane Gavey, Director and founding member.
- Jacqui Hamlin, Director and founding member.
- Tim McEntire, Director and former Operations Manager. Tim is a former chef proprietor with a passion for local food. He retired from day-to-day operations in 2021 after a decade of service to Food Float. We are delighted that he remains on our board of directors.
- Julia Redfern, online shop, website and newsletter.
- Paul Street, Director and Operations Manager.
- Maddie Sutton, Director and Operations Director.
- Andy Tanner, Director.
- Ruth Thomas, Bookkeeper.
Food Float is very sociable! Look out for our cheerful stall and driver volunteers: Heather, Amanda, Baz, Karen, Liz, Alison, Margaret, Tessa, Barbara, Andy 2, Jane 1, Penny, Chrissie, Jane 2, Jacqui, Dan, Hermione, Olivia, Nicole, Sue 1, Sue 2, Tim, John, Julia, Lynne, Wendy, Andrew, Nicky, Amanda 2, Paul, Maddie, Sue 3, Linden, Tom, David and Nick.
Our story so far.
After a successful campaign to prevent a supermarket megastore coming to Dorking back in 2008, Food Float was formed in 2009 as part of an alternative, to provide local food to local people and visitors to the town and to be run within the community.
We are often asked about our name and logo. These reflect our founders’ original plan to run a reconditioned milk float as a mobile marketplace which would provide locally-sourced, fair-priced food to people in Dorking and the surrounding villages. This evolved into the ‘stall’ plan, with the first trading day on 6 March 2010 outside the then-Barclays Bank on the High Street.
Thirteen years on, you can find us in the main square of St Martin’s Walk on Fridays and on the High Street next to Boots (outside the former Barclays site) on Saturdays, from 8:30pm to early afternoon, offering food from 30+ local producers throughout the year other than a brief break over Christmas / New Year – a place for conversation and laughter in addition to shopping. Alongside the one-stop, centre-of-town Friday and Saturday stalls, we offer a delivery service on Thursdays to homes in Dorking and the surrounding villages.
Our birthday cake – made by our brilliant Maddie – which we served at the stall to celebrate 13 years since our first trading day on 6 March 2010. Do get in touch with Maddie – 07790 613348 – if you have an occasion coming up and would like to commission something special!
At the end of 2021 we took on a unit near the Medwyn Centre, which we call the FLOC – the Food Float Logistics Operations Centre. This has enabled us to streamline life behind the scenes.
Just after New Year’s Day 2023 we purchased a Nissan eNV200 fully electric van. It was second-hand but only just, with a mere 3800 miles on the clock. The idea of getting an electric vehicle had long been debated within Food Float, but the financials just weren’t quite there. So, in 2022, we applied for a LOCASE grant to help pay for 40% of the cost of a vehicle. The ‘Low Carbon Across the South and East’ programme which is funded by the EU European Regional Development Fund in partnership with Surrey County Council, aims to help small to medium-sized businesses become more efficient and sustainable. After a prequalification and then a bid proposal, Food Float was successful in obtaining grant funding. Early experience shows the new van can do 145 miles for £4.10 of 100% green electricity.