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Real Community

Since opening our Broughton Street store in the 1970’s, here at Real Foods we have sought to contribute to the thriving community of independent, individual businesses that make our street one of the finest in Edinburgh.

A community is a group of interacting people, living or working in some proximity. Community usually refers to a social unit that shares common values and has social cohesion. As such the Real Foods community extends to its staff, its customers, its suppliers and, of course, the local people and traders in the local area.

This page is an introduction to our community.

First, take a look at the life of the Broughton Street Community

Dragonfly shop front People walking on Broughton Street Traffic on Broughton Street Dogs on Broughton Street Lorries unloading on Broughton Street Florists on Broughton Street People walking up Broughton Street Traffic wardons outside the shops Bikes chained to railings on Broughton Street Street signs on the pavements of Broughton Street
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Meet some Real Foods staff:

Photo of Jenny

Some of our staff have shopped at Real Foods since childhood while others have moved as adults to make Edinburgh their home.

Meet Jenny who started coming to Real Foods with her mother in the 1990’s (when Real Foods was already 20 years old).

Meet our buyer, Jenny

Photo of Ben

Wherever they hail from our staff are chosen for their friendliness, helpful attitude and knowledge. All staff have access to our free, scientifically verified, health advice and will show you how to use our in-store kiosk if you want to look up information for yourself.

Meet Ben who was born in Somerset but is now very much at home in Edinburgh and is fast becoming one of the best known faces at Real Foods.

Meet one of our managers, Ben

Why not take a glance at our highlights of the local area

Crombies of Edinburgh entrance Cauliflowers on display Flowers at roadside Cobbled streets View up Broughton Street Placards on human rights in a basement window French Twist using the Best of Scotland entrance Cycling up a steep hill Flat window inspirational message Outside Real Foods Main entrance to Real Foods Happy statue
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Meet some Real Foods customers:

Customers are, of course, the life-blood of all businesses. Without them we wouldn't have a business. Here at Real Foods we try to listen to our customers’ needs and respond to them as well as we can. To encourage customers to be involved we run regular competitions with some really exciting prizes.

See some of our prize winners

Winner number 1 Winner number 2 Winner number 3 Winner number 4 Winner number 5
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Photo of Irene

We know that many people want to eat more healthy food but are often bewildered by the contradictory information available and by the sheer volume of choice. At Real Foods we run various information evenings to educate and help our customers providing guidance and yummy samples to try. Whenever possible we also support local schools in their drive to teach young people about healthy eating, visiting the schools and providing samples of healthy snacks and treats for the children to try.

Meet Irene who has been shopping at Real Foods for many years, bulk buying with friends while her family was growing up and now the family have flown the coop, able to buy smaller quantities more suited to her current needs.

Meet one of our loyal customers, Irene
Photo of Hilary

Customers visit Real Foods for many different reasons; maybe it 's a health problem they want to address by changes in their diet, maybe it's a desire to buy organic foods free from pesticides, or organic beauty products free from harmful chemicals. Sometimes it's to find that elusive ingredient that no one else has ever heard of. Occasionally it may be simply to talk to the staff or to read any new notices on the community notice board at the back of the shop - pausing to marvel at all the different, eclectic advertisements including alternative therapies, rooms to let or even babysitting services.

Meet Hilary who shops at Real Foods for ingredients for her organic cocktails - alcoholic and non-alcoholic.

Meet Hilary and read about her Unique Healthy Cocktails

Check out some of the businesses we share the street with

Shops on Broughton Street Basement garden Basement shop Real Foods shop front Union Estate Agents front Florists shop front Smoke Stack restaurant front Curiousor and curiousor shop front Concrete Wardrobe shop front Edinburgh Boombarbers shop front Something Fishy Edinburgh Broughton delicatessan and cafe front Real Foods entrance Olive Branch Bistro entrance Street side tables and chairs L'escargot Bleu Edinburgh Smoke Stack roadside eating area Chequers Sandwich Bar and Takeaway Various restaurant signs on Broughton St Mathers pub Pheonix Cellar Bar New Town Deli entrance Blue Moon sign
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Meet some Real Foods suppliers:

Photo of Garvald

Where would we be without our suppliers? Since moving into Broughton Street all those years ago we have made a point of supporting as many local suppliers as we can. Several of them are charities supporting disadvantaged people or those with special needs. Real Foods is proud to be able to provide good quality food which not only benefit the people who consume them but also provide real benefit to the people who make them.

Meet Garvald who provide employment for people with special needs and who supply delicious oatmeal and wholemeal loaves daily.

Meet one of our local suppliers, Garvald Bakery
Photo of Tom

In addition to supporting charities by collecting for them at till points and buying from those that supply foods that we can sell, we also support some charities with raffle prizes and with food donations.

Meet the Cyrenians who support the homeless and disadvantaged in Edinburgh and who keep hens who lay the most wonderful organic eggs.

Meet Tom Phillips of Cyrenians Farm

See the beauty of Broughton Street Community

Basement garden Window displays Bananas at street side Flowers outside florists Climbers on shop steps Beautiful window reflection Beautiful window reflection of traffic Ornate 36 number sign Hanging baskets outside pub Ivy growing up our shop
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Meet the local community:

Maybe you have heard about Real Foods’ fight to retain its signs, or maybe you are new to the Broughton Street Community. We think that a great deal of the charm of the area is due to the diversity provided by the many independent businesses located on the street.

Our new signage, aside from identifying our premises, is an expression of our individuality on a street full of independent traders, all adding to the great character of a street nominated for the Hippest Street category in Google's Street View Awards 2011.

Have a look at all the quirky, hip, individual signs located around the street and see how we contribute visually to the community.

Apple Pharmacy shop sign Newsagentsshop sign Edinburgh Nursery sign Rapido restaurant sign Real Foods shop sign Smoke Stack restaurant sign Villeneuve Wines shop sign I love monkey sign Nom de Plume cafe sign L'epicerie sign Hamburger heaven eatery sign The basement restaurant sign New town deli restaurant sign Alex Hair Studio Edinburgh sign Blue Moon club sign Open door sign
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If you have enjoyed our selections of photos of Broughton Street, browse our gallery of over 100 photos of this well loved and much revered Edinburgh Street.

See how things could change if Broughton Street loses its independent shops here.

See Real Foods then and now.

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Organic Shop (4107):
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