Our story so far
Food Float is a not-for-profit community interest company, incorporated in 2009, run by the community for the community. We provide local food for local people. We aim to support the local economy by offering local profit-making ventures a reliable and visible outlet for their produce and an additional income stream, at a fair cost. We also work with small-scale local producers and individuals, including home bakers and beekeepers. Our name and logo reflect our founders’ original plan to run a reconditioned milk float as a mobile market stall which would provide locally-sourced, fair-priced food to people in Dorking and the surrounding villages.
The stall opened for business on the High Street on 6 March 2010. Today the stall can be found in the main square of St Martin’s Walk on Fridays and on the High Street outside Barclays Bank on Saturdays, offering food from 30+ local producers 50 weeks a year – a place for conversation and laughter in addition to shopping, for local people and visitors to Dorking. We reached a milestone reached at the end of 2021 when we took on the FLOC – the Food Float Logistics Operations Centre, aka The Unit, in a peaceful yet central spot near the Medwyn Centre. We are enjoying the benefits of streamlining day-to-day activities but continue to be grateful to Margaret, Phil & Vicki for their long-running earlier hospitality.
We have offered a weekly home delivery service for several years. Our volunteer drivers made deliveries on multiple days a week during the Coronavirus lockdowns in 2020 and 2021. We increased the range of produce available for delivery and expanded our online shop. Our Thursday deliveries now include almost everything offered on the stall. There is no delivery charge and our minimum order amount is only £11.
We are a carbon-negative organisation – meaning that our operation absorbs more carbon dioxide than it creates. We work hard to keep waste to a minimum. Many customers return their egg-boxes, milk bottles, and preserves jars, and we pass them back to the suppliers for re-use. Cardboard goes to recycling. We don’t generate much food waste but Tim’s locally-reared pigs appreciate anything they receive…
The team consists of local residents who have volunteered to carry out a range 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 December 2019.
- Nick Wright, Chairman.
- Margaret Brett, Director. Margaret has brought the experience of a distinguished career in accountancy to the Board.
- Jane Gavey, Director and founding member.
- Jacqui Hamlin, Director and founding member.
- Phil May, Former Director and Operations Manager. Phil’s involvement with Food Float covered ten and a half years, until he moved away from Dorking in September 2020.
- 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 October 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 & newsmailer.
- Paul Street, Operations Manager.
- Maddie Sutton, Director and Operations Director.
- Andy Tanner, Director. Andy works on local community development projects, charitable activities and campaigning.
- Ruth Thomas, Bookkeeper.
Kind words from the High Sheriff of Surrey, Dr Julie Llewelyn, after her visit to Dorking during Surrey Day 2021 in May: ‘Not only is your produce fabulous but you and your team of volunteers obviously did so much to support the community during the pandemic. May I wish you all every success as you continue to do such wonderful work supporting local producers and the local economy’.
Other information about Food Float