F&Q Comms

Frequently Asked Questions

How are you responding to COVID-19?

Strict safety measures are in place for us to continue to be offering our services during COVID with both collection and delivery options currently do-able in a socially distanced, safe manner.

Collections will be from 12.15pm to 12.45pm on Fridays - subject to current guidelines - if we need to change these times we will give the customers collecting their orders forward warning of this.

A safe queuing system is in place for those who come to our Hub to collect and we request all those collecting to stand socially distanced and to please be wearing a mask.

Please remember that collection is subject to COVID conditions and could need to be put on hold if the situation changes. If this happens you will be contacted and arrangements made to get your order to you.

No contact is required for deliveries meaning  we are ideal for orders to be dropped off to those who are self-isolating and/or vulnerable.

What are your ingredients and dietary needs disclaimers?

Stroudco handles all allergens and cannot guarantee that cross-contamination does not take place. Although we take every care to avoid contamination, due to the nature of our supplier collection and distribution process, all food - including unpackaged allergen-free foods - must be considered a risk and customers with particular allergies must be aware of this.

Please Note customers must check the ingredients from the product labelling themselves before consuming anything ordered through us at Stroudco.

We will not assume any liability for adverse reactions from any products consumed or from items one may come in contact with whilst consuming any products provided through Stroudco. 

How does ordering/donating to The Long Table work?

Once you have opened an account on our Open Food Network Shopfront, The Long Table Meals we offer that week can be added to your order with you entering the amount you wish to pay by donation. Alternatively you can choose to make one off or regular donations of an amount of your choice to The Long Table without purchasing a meal, this second option can be done as part of - or separate to - making an order with us.

How does donating to Stroud District Food Bank work?

Once you have opened an account on our Open Food Network Shopfront, one off or regular donations of an amount of your choice can be made to The Stroud District Food Bank. This can be done as part of - or separate to - making an order with us.  We pass along the full amount of donations raised on behalf of our customers every few months.

I've not made my order in time and your shop is now closed - can I still make an order for this week?

Unfortunately once our shop closes for the week the orders are automatically sent out to our suppliers so we are unable to accept any additional orders after this point. Once our shop re-opens 8am Saturday you will be able to order again


I keep forgetting to make an order - how can you help?

We offer an order reminder service that goes out by email on a Tuesday morning, If you would like to subscribe to receiving this then please get in contact at manager@stroudco.org.uk with the email you wish for us to add to our reminders list.

I am struggling to make an order, have limited computer/internet access, or know someone who would like to order without the technology or ability to do so - how can you help?

You can currently contact us at manager@stroudco.org,uk with any issues you or someone you know have when it comes to placing an order/using our services to discuss how we can help with this. We hope to eventually set up a volunteer Buddy System for ordering on behalf of others, until then orders on our shop can be delivered to any address (or collected from our Stroud Hub at the Trinity Rooms).

I have already made an order but would like to add an additional item or have forgotten to include something! Is there anything I can to do to get these included?

Yes. If you contact Stroudco Manager Grace she can allow you to place a second order with a one-off checkout option with no delivery charge. Alternatively you can place a second order and then request a refund of the second delivery charge so that no extra costs are occurred.

I live outside of your delivery zones but would still like to make an order - is this possible?

This depends on how near to our delivery area your address is. Please contact us to discuss if we are able to cater for where you live. You are of course welcome to order for collection and pick up from our Stroud Central Hub at the Trinity Rooms on Field Road,

Why do you charge for delivery and what does the £5.00 fee contribute to?

We charge a flat rate delivery charge no matter where you live within our delivery area or however large your order is to help us cover our costs as a non-profit operating mostly through the support of a team of wonderful volunteers. The vast majority of deliveries are made by some of these volunteers, to whom we are eternally grateful and we make financial contributions to for their mileage costs.

In the Stroud area there are many addresses that require particular attention to deliver to, as well as more straightforward delivery addresses. Each week we coordinate the best delivery routes to take so that no matter how narrow your lane is or how far your delivery address is from the road, you will receive your delivery – whether it’s one small box of seasonal vegetables or a dozen cases of Stroud Brewery’s finest ales and Day’s Cottage apple juices - for the same flat rate charge of £5.

I will not be home when my order is delivered is this okay?

Please notify us on your order in the Notes section at the Checkout page if you have any special instructions for where to leave your delivery. This includes if you will not be home at the time we deliver. We are quite used to catering for this. Please try to ensure that the place you choose is as safe and secure from weather, animals and passers-by as possible.

If no instructions are included and you are not home we will leave the delivery on your doorstep.

My delivery has not yet arrived and it is after the time you have suggested it would be delivered. Is there an issue?

Each week we email out a confirmation of your order with an estimated delivery time. This is not exact and depending on the amount of orders, the various customer locations, and how many helpers we have for making deliveries your order arrivals will vary and may be later than stated.

I would like to order with other people or as a group, is this possible and if so how?

We can currently offer a custom-built group service for a minimum of 3 or more customers living within close vicinity of one another to select one of their households to act as a drop off location for everyone’s orders at a reduced delivery fee of £3.00 per member.

Please email us on manager@stroudco.org.uk to find out more information and to liaison with our manager Grace on setting up this service for your group.

I have received my order but there is a problem/issue I am unhappy with or something is missing/damaged what should I do?

Mistakes do occur and we would always wish you to have the exact quantities of the items you have ordered delivered at the high level of quality you would wish. Please notify us within 48 hours of collecting or receiving your delivery by emailing us at manager@stroudco.org.uk - If you are unhappy with any product you received and we will do our best to refund, substitute, or replace as soon as possible

I have a box/cool bag/ice pack to return to you, how can I do this?

If you have any bags, cool packs or boxes from a previous delivery please make sure they are left out or given to your driver the next time you have an order delivered or alternatively please leave instructions as to where they can be collected from. If you are not due an order please contact us as we may be able to either collect them next time we are passing or arrange you dropping them off at our Hub at a suitable time (please do not just turn up at the Trinity Rooms with them!)

I am interested in becoming a Stroudco supplier what do I need to do?

Please contact us at manager@stroudco.org.uk with the key information on the product range you would like to supply plus details of where you grow and/or produce, what if any packaging materials you use, and why you would like to work alongside us for distributing them in the Stroud area.

I grow my own produce at home or in an allotment, am I able to sell it through you?

We are very keen to supply products from local producers, allotment growers and gardeners, homemade foods/drinks, and possibly non-food products from the Stroud area. If you would like to get involved in supplying us with any of these items then please contact us on manager@stroudco.org.uk explaining your range and why you would like to sell it through us at Stroudco.

I am interested in getting involved with Stroudco - what ways can I help?

Great News! To get involved please contact manager@stroudco.org.uk and send us a note of how you would like to be involved, what experience or qualifications you have that are relevant and why you would like to join our team on a voluntary bases. You will be asked to fill in a simple form and read a short document.

We are currently looking for administration, driving and packing volunteers but we welcome getting in touch about other roles and skills you may also be able to offer on a voluntary bases. You can find out more about volunteering with Stroudco on our ‘Volunteers Page’.

Are you linked to the Farmers Market in Stroud?

Whilst we support the farmers market and provide products from some of the same suppliers we are not directly linked to them.

I have an item or producer I would like to request you stock, is this possible?

Yes, as we are open to considering suggestions, please contact us on manager@stroudco.org.uk with the details providing as much info as possible on what they do, where they operate and why you think we should work with them. We will then look into them, though we cannot guarantee they will be introduced and if they are to be introduced, please bear in mind that there can often be some delay in adding new stock to our site.

Some of the fruit and veg produce you stock is not organic, seasonal, grown locally, or grown in the UK, why is this and how do these items still meet your core values?

Our policy is to sell local wherever that is possible with locally grown or produced foods, drinks, and other retail products our primary market. We have over 30 suppliers altogether of which the vast majority operate within 10 – 15 miles of Stroud.

We recognise that some products cannot be grown in this area. When this is the case with products we believe are essential in a range of everyday groceries we seek supplies from distributors who can confirm to us a demonstrated ethical, environmental and economic care in sourcing those products.

For further afield producers/products the distributors need to be able to meet our supporting criteria of good husbandry, connecting the local economy and keeping our footprint tiny, this includes some of our fresh fruit and vegetables, our suppliers of olive oils, tinned groceries and some paper products.

Do you offer a re-fillable service?

In efforts to improve our own footprint and increase sustainable packaging further we are currently looking into being able to cater to re-fillable options with some of what we offer (when possible). This is work in progress so watch this space for further developments and info in 2021.

Is it possible to return empty bottles to Stroud Brewery and Day’s Cottage if they are able to sterilise and reuse them?

Thoroughly rinsed until clean Day’s Cottage bottles can be sent back to us

For returning bottles to Stroud Brewery we suggest that you contact them directly.

Can empty egg boxes be returned to you?

Any egg boxes that were delivered as part of your order can be returned to us.

Can any other of the packaging I receive be returned for re-use?

Maryanne's tiramisu pots can be returned after being cleaned. Magpie & Jay wrappers can also be returned. 

Please can you let me know which of your stock is not yet plastic/packaging free?

There is a plastic-free filter for each product which will allow you to check which items are plastic-free. It is our aim to be completely plastic-free; however some foods, particularly salads, cheeses and some fruits do not stay fresh for long enough to be useful to the consumer if they are packaged in paper or plastic-free packaging.

There are of course substitutes to plastic and we try to work with suppliers to help them transfer over. Wherever possible we work in tandem with Stroud District Action on Plastics (SDAP) who assist us and our suppliers with advice on how plastics can be reduced within our local food sector.

How is Godsells Cheese packaged?

All cheeses come wrapped in hand-weighed 250g wedges. They are all made, cut and weighed in Leonard Stanley, just outside Stroud. The wrapping is made from plastic and is not currently recyclable. This is always under review but is not possible at present because of the extra costs involved and to ensure that the cheeses do not dry out too quickly after wrapping.

How is Artisan Jack UK’s packaging Eco-Friendly?

Their vacuum pouches are manufactured from LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene) recyclable plastic to create a fully recyclable vacuum pouch. Their produce trays are made from a blend of plant fibres such as bamboo, bulrush, and sugar cane making them biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable. Their cling film is EU Food certified as fully compostable.

How are Soap Folk products eco-friendly?

Soap Folk assure that all their soaps are produced by hand using a traditional cold process. They are also all made without palm oil using only certified organic natural ingredients that are biodegradable.

Are pesticides used for Woodchester Valley’s Wines?

Woodchester Wines do not use any insecticides at their vineyards. They encourage and work very closely with local bee-keepers both on and adjacent to their vineyards. They do not like to use certain products, including some approved by the Soil Association (e.g. copper sulphate), and production is of the highest environmental standards.

How fresh is the SALT Bakehouse Breads?

Everything is baked fresh for the week’s order. However with no added chemicals to enhance shelf life produce will not stay fresh for as long. They also state that in more humid temperatures keeping the produce in the bag over the weekend will likely cause the bread to degrade quicker.

How Long Do Baked by Beth's Cakes and Bars Last?

Each cake is individually baked & decorated to order. Brownies & bars are prepared by hand in small batches. All items are best eaten within 3 days of receiving them and kept cool and dry. However you can keep them in the fridge to preserve for up to 7 days in an airtight container. Please note that fresh edible flowers on cakes may start to wilt after 24 hours but will also last longer if chilled.

Please advise storing Noni's Coffee?

Unopened and stored correctly Noni's Coffee are fine to drink for up to 3 months after roasting. However, once opened they advice that you store it in a sealed container away from heat and moisture in a cool, dry, and dark place and aim to drink it within 6 weeks for the best flavour. They suggest that you do not store your coffee in the fridge as moving fresh coffee into different temperature environments will cause condensation and damage.

How Do The Beeswax and Vegan Wraps Work?

You can find the instructions for using your food wraps by clicking this link here and the instructions for cleaning and caring for your food wraps by clicking this link here.

How Can I Prevent Artisan Jack UK Black Pudding Falling Apart When Cutting?

Due to the coarser texture, Artisan Jack recommends slicing their black pudding lengthways whilst it is still in the skin, being careful to not cut the slices too thin. You can then remove the skin once sliced.

How Can I Heat MAMA's Meals Correctly When Cooking Plus Prevent Any Chicken Going Dry?

Mama suggests adding a splash of water to the chicken Dishes to avoid drying out. You may want to also add any of the potatoes and veg in the meals towards the end of the cooking time as they take less time to heat through.

What do you mean by good husbandry within your core values?

There is no absolute answer to this question. We are seeking to work with growers, producers and artisans who have strong ethical values about local procurement, animal welfare and soil quality. They are often smaller suppliers and family businesses. In addition to certifications, licenses and regulatory adherence we are also looking to work with suppliers who offer fair wages, aim to be as plastic-free as possible, and those who see themselves as guardians of the local environment.

How is what you offer a more sustainable shopping alternative?

We believe that local distribution systems are more sustainable than the central distribution models operated by larger retailers such as supermarkets and multi-outlet stores. This is because local supply chains can produce foods for local consumption without the need for the extensive packaging, storage, refrigeration, transport and waste that is inevitably involved in trans-national distribution systems.

We can distribute to you the consumer with minimal deleterious effect on the environment by using a single local depot, reusable boxes, minimal handling, environmentally-friendly transport (including bicycles and electric vehicles) and by only stocking items that have been ordered thereby reducing waste.

How does shopping with Stroudco help local economy and improve food systems?

By shopping locally you help to keep the local economy functioning and sustainable. Buying your fresh produce, locally made drinks, freshly baked foods and a host of other products grown or produced locally, the vast majority of the turnover spent is retained within 15 miles of Stroud, rather than winding up in the coffers of a multi-national supermarket headquartered somewhere in the home counties.

By extension this means that the local economy in Stroud is being continuously supported by the local consumers and that a more robust system is in place which can provide employment for artisans, producers, growers, warehouse packers, delivery people and many others too in administrative, marketing and strategic roles. A network of interlinked local food distribution hubs is what we are aiming to develop and be part of.

How can I keep up to date with what is going on at Stroudco?

You can keep up to date by following our social media pages that you can find links for on our contact us page. We also have an e-newsletter that you can subscribe to. You can sign up for this service on our contact us page.