Ask the experts – do I need food certifications?


I have an idea for a food pop up but I’m not sure about the certifications I might need to trade with food, can you help?

It all starts with the space you choose to pop up into. There are 3 main things to consider.

Firstly, In order to be a legal food vendor, you must register your business and the site you will be serving in with your local council. This is so they can pay you a visit to be sure you’re following all the health and safety standards. The same goes for the place you are storing your food (if this is different).

For example, Hackney Council asks for 28 days notice before you plan to start trading, so get your application in as soon as you’ve found your spot. We did ask if it was possible to open sooner and they sounded like this timeframe could be flexible.

Secondly, if you’d like to pop up on the move, you’ll need a Street or Market licence from your local council.

Finally, in order to handle food for public consumption you must get a food hygiene certificate. A course with Hackney Council costs £65 but you can search for other places to train up too. 

We spoke to our local Council – Hackney – to get the skinny on what it takes to pop up, but we suggest you confirm these details with your local council as each local authority will vary slightly. You can go on to the website of the Council in which your pop up will be based, and search for ‘food safety’ or ‘food licensing’ and you’ll find the contact details and information you need.

Got something you’d like to ask the experts?
Email ‘Ask The Experts’ to hello@wearepopup.com with your question and we’ll put it to the panel. 

Blog button

Ask the experts – how do I reach new customers?

I’ve just booked a space for my pop up in an area I’ve never traded in before, can you advise on the best way to reach my new customers about my launch?

Many of the landlords and ShopShare owners on We Are Pop Up are already very networked and part of a great community in their area, so the first place to reach out is your new landlord. Can they help you spread the word about your launch date and through the duration of your pop up?

Partner and collaborate.
Perhaps there is another pop up or small business that sells a complementary product to yours and who would be happy to pass on customers to you, knowing that you will do the same for them. ‘Need a beer for your tasty burger you’ve just bought?’

Meet the neighbours.
Maybe there is a collective or local area group that is made up of other business like yours that would be happy to give you hints on the local demographic. Don’t be shy about meeting the neighbours – the new customers and footfall you’ll bring with your launch will be beneficial for their business too, so work together to promote each other.

Do the locals know you’re coming?
Cause a fuss and make sure they don’t miss you! Be clear about your launch date and the duration of your pop up so locals know it’s for a limited time only. Can you put posters or vinyls up in the space even before you’ve launched, so passers-by see that you’re coming? Can you have a sandwich board outside announcing your arrival? Have you drafted a press release and let the local press know you’re coming? (Here’s a handy press release template you might like to use)

Build on what you know.
Even if your pop up is in a new area, you’re not new to your product or service or your brand story, and your new potential customers will want to hear it. If you already have a social media presence, do build on what you have and what you know works – you’re probably more of an expert than you think! Then gather inspiration from other similar brands trading in your new area. How do they reach the demographic you want to reach? What social media and promotional tools do they use, whether it’s more traditional methods like flyers and posters, or more modern such as tweets and whatsapp updates, or a combination of several ‘channels’.

Look around you, learn from others, talk to your neighbours, and ask customers to tell their friends. And don’t forget a pop up is the perfect opportunity to experiment and try new things so be bold and give it a go!

Here is some further advice on Small Business Marketing Lessons from The Guardian’s recent live Q&A with industry experts.

Got something you’d like to ask the experts?
Email ‘Ask The Experts’ to hello@wearepopup.com with your question and we’ll put it to the panel. 

Blog button

From pipe dream to high street: how Porridge Cafe took Shoreditch by storm

We love to hear about new ventures and passionate people trying out their concepts with We Are Pop Up. The Porridge Cafe was a bold new entry to the smorgasbord of pop up eateries in Shoreditch. A one of a kind cafe with a passion for great ingredients, delivering high quality and interesting nourishment every day.

We spoke to Elly, one half of the team behind Porridge Cafe, to find out more about her We Are Pop Up journey.

What was the Porridge Cafe all about?

The Porridge Cafe was a 1 month pop up. Everyday we had 5 different flavour options with different grains, and both sweet and savoury options.

Where did the idea come from?

The idea came from a trip to Copenhagen when we visited a porridge cafe there called Grød.

We had a street catering business called Bow Foods, and loved to use different grains in our recipes. We love the versatility that it has as an ingredient along with the health benefits. It was a real untapped market in the UK.IMG_4735

How did you choose an area in London?

Our previous food truck served the people of East London so we knew East London was a good place to launch and to test our a new idea. It’s really convenient.

Why did you choose the Paul St space specifically?

Its a beautiful venue with lots of natural light. The area has a good mix of office and creative people in the week and on weekends there are lots of visitors, a good balance.

What was your experience of directly interacting with your landlord?

The landlord Rachel is really supportive of young businesses and works for BADA who support artistic endeavours.

IMG_4750What is your favourite porridge dish?

For a savoury option I loved our beetroot porridge with spelt, feta, capers and an egg on top. On weekends the maple syrup, egg, bacon porridge was really popular.

What’s next for the Porridge Cafe?

It’s still early days but we want to explore more options, maybe try another area of London.

Hundreds of foodie concepts like The Porridge Cafe need their next pop up space. You can browse the brands here. Do you have a space? Whether an empty space, or a ShopShare space within your existing cafe or shop, you can sign up here to have brilliant brands book your space.

Blog button

Why us? How We Are Pop Up compares

We Are Pop Up is the world’s largest destination for short term retail. We connect brands and spaces directly, with no agents in the middle, and no paperwork. The only peer-to-peer marketplace of retail space, our fast, flexible and open platform helps you find and book your perfect space in minutes, rather than weeks.

Our fast, flexible and open system is not only better for brands, spaces, and consumers but is also helping to maintain sustainable independent shops: Retailers can transform their shop and make big returns from small spaces with our ShopShare offer. We enable brands, spaces and customers to collaborate, pool resources and co-create the high street of the future.

Since 2013, customers have launched over 1,000 pop-up shops across London, the UK and Europe. The spaces on We Are Pop Up range in price from £2 a day for a shared shop, to £150 a day for a full shop, to over £1,000 a day for large unique venues.

Our mission is to help independent retail thrive by thinking differently about the possibilities of space.

How we compare: 

We Are Pop Up Online Competitors Traditional Agent
TOTAL FEES 10% 15%-20% 12-20%
UPFRONT COSTS Free to list Free to list Fixed agency fees whether successful or not
PRICING Itemised and fully transparent Hidden inclusive fee Hidden costs
SERVICE An open marketplace where landlords and tenants connect directly Agents acting as middlemen Agents acting as middlemen
LEGALS Fully automated licence that executes in minutes Digital Lease that executes in 2 weeks Manual lease that can take weeks or months to execute
OPENING HOURS 24 hours a day,   7 days a week Regular office open hours Regular office open hours
WHEN CAN I BOOK? Whenever you’re ready. Bookings even completed on Christmas Day and New Years Eve! Regular office open hours Regular office open hours
LANDLORD EXCLUSIVITY CLAUSES We do not enforce exclusivity clauses. We want to make the city more open. Landlord exclusivity clauses as standard Landlord exclusivity clauses as standard
PROTECTION Escrow account holds your money safely until you have the keys to your pop up No protection No protection

 

Blog button

ShopShare – A How To Guide

We Are Pop Up’s ShopShare enables brands and retail spaces to join forces in a collaboration that is mutually beneficial.  This new form of pop up allows brands to rent an area within a shop, as opposed to the entire space. In many ways this makes commercial sense, shops get new stock without paying for it, whilst brands get exposure and new customers without the big expense. Overall everyone wins.

Every ShopShare is a little bit different. They are unique collaborations between creative brands and stores. A menswear pop up in a micro department store has very different questions to a gelato cart in a florist’s.

We know better than to try and impose a one-size-fits-all approach, in fact we encourage you to innovate and come up with new brand matches. That’s why we’ve created a messaging system on wearepopup.com where you can discuss the things that are important to your collaboration and any questions you might have. That said – there are a few questions that come up in lots of conversations. We thought we’d share them here.

There are two ways you can share a shop:
As a concession – where the pop up brand is in situ to sell their goods or service
As a rental – where the brand pays for a shelf and the host shop does the rest

We offer both arrangements and each shop’s listing makes clear which one is available. In some cases it could be both – up to you to decide.

Who staffs the ShopShare?
Concession – Shop Share offers a great way to learn from other retailers. You can share knowledge, resources, and expertise and of course lunch break cover! This can help save the cost of additional staff which is usually required to make an empty store work.

If you have opted to simply rent a space and let the store staff sell on your behalf it might be worth going to meet the sales staff and talking to them about your product. That way they will feel more connected to it and better able to represent it to the customer. If you can’t go in person than be sure to include good collateral with your stock so they get a real sense of your brand.

What Does it Cost?
Booking your space through We Are Pop Up works in the usual way. We take 5% from both parties on the total rental value. Some store managers have additional costs including sales commission and credit card handling fees. Make sure you negotiate any additional costs upfront and state in your rental agreement how they will be charged. Once you have agreed the terms of your rental – you should make a note of everything in a message on your booking page – and that way it will be protected as part of your rental agreement when you book your space.

How Does VAT Work?
It is up to you to agree this but the most common solution is for the store to charge the VAT on the wholesale price and send the money to the brand to declare it. 

Do I need Insurance?
In most cases the shop will have buildings insurance and you can ask the store if they have a contents policy that will protect your goods. If they don’t you should consider getting a contents policy to make sure your goods are protected – they are after all valuable. If you have particular items that are of high value you can itemise these in most policies.

Goods: Pricing & Labelling
You should confirm with the store the specifics of how they want you to price and label your goods. Depending on the length of the rental they may prefer to add your goods to their own inventory database to make the check out process in store easy. Alternatively they may be happy to keep a note of the goods sold. Agree in advance how they want you to tag your goods and what signage and collateral they will show. It is good practice to include a full list of your products, description and their sale price. This will provide a record of what you delivered and something for you to cross check returned stock against later.

Point of Sale
For concessions you’ll probably need to bring your own till and POS system. Be sure to check out that there is working wifi so you can run your till and take payments. Our friends at iZettle are offering a free card reader plus £1000 of fee-free transactions to all bookings through We Are Pop Up: see here.

 

Start sharing now

Referring a space – how does it work?

Take ShopShare around the UK and around the world

We Are Pop Up’s Referrals connect brands, spaces, and customers. Customers get £25 for every new shop they help create.

This is an online referral programme that pays a £25 commission. It also turns every person in the world into a property agent and allows you to have a hand in shaping communities and cities.

When you share, two things happen: you create new opportunities, and you get paid.

Why Share?:

ShopShare helps independent retail thrive by thinking differently about shops. ShopShare makes it easy for new brands to get into retail. It also keeps today’s High Street shops healthy.

Good for Brands: Great ideas launch daily on the High Street. What was previously difficult and expensive is now affordable and easy.

Good for shops: Real estate is expensive. Rent, business rates, utilities, etc can quickly add up. ShopShare gives local shops new income and helps them compete with big chains and franchises.

It’s good for the rest of us because it’s good, old-fashioned fun. High Streets going back to market town heritages. Coffee bars in a hair salon. A gelato stand in a florist. A porridge bar in an art gallery. Art in a shoe shop.

And if that doesn’t do it for you, perhaps this will – We Are Pop Up is the only property marketplace that directly connects brands and spaces. We put control of shops and the High Street back into the hands of people like you. What High Street do you want to see?

If you care about your town, your city, and know there’s a better way than streets that all look the same – share your code.

How It Works:
You’re signed up and have a unique referral code to share. Track your shares on your dashboard at wearepopup.com.

From your dashboard you can tweet, post to facebook, Google Plus and LinkedIn. You can email your code to your entire address book. You can cut and paste your code and share it in any way you wish – so do it!

When a new space signs up and books a brand, you get paid £25.
When a new brand signs up and books a space, you get paid £25.

You don’t have to be a space or a brand to share. Just keep sharing your unique code across all your networks. When someone signs up using your code – we will email you and it will appear on your dashboard.

Blog button

How to do more business with ShopShare – for brands

Retail is changing – appear on the high street quickly and easily with ShopShare from We Are Pop Up.

At We Are Pop Up, our mission is to help independent retail thrive by thinking differently about the possibilities of space. In talking to our users we realised that we could do more to help smaller brands that wanted to test concepts in the market without committing to rent an entire shop.

That’s why we’ve launched ShopShare. ShopShare enables brands, spaces and customers to join forces in a collaboration that is mutually beneficial and co-create the high street of the future.

So, what is Shop Share?

It’s an opportunity for you as a business to rent out part of an established shop – from a rail, a table, a shelf or a concession to the whole shop. Exactly as the name suggests – share a shop!

The Dandy Lab, December 2014 The Dandy Lab, December 2014 The Dandy Lab, December 2014The Dandy Lab x BBSC ShopShare at 9 Earlham Street in Covent Garden. The pop up was such a success it was featured in GQ Magazine’s top 4 menswear pop ups for the festive season. Read about The Dandy Lab’s current ShopShare here and see their listing here.

Why should I ShopShare?

For brands, ShopShare gives you a way to quickly and easily take on a concession space in an existing shop, or even to pop up in a ‘micro-department store’.

Test your product or concept in an up-and-running shop, at low cost and low risk. It’s entirely flexible – book a prestigious space for a short period or an emerging space for a longer stay, and if it’s going well, you can easily extend the booking.

Once you’re there, you’ll benefit from your host’s customer base, retail experience and network, and the partnership between your brands will offer your respective customers an exciting and unique experience.

“It injects a sense of excitement and change, which customers really react well to. We learn from every brand that is in store and it can be the start of a longer partnership”. 

– Irena Gordon, Glassworks Shoreditch (read more about it here)

Glassworks Shop Share For Rent

Glassworks in Shoreditch has hosted over 16 brands including Cru, Suite Hazen, Urbiana, Be Snazzy and Rose Rankin. See their ShopShare listings here

Finding a suitable space is quick and easy through our open, flexible and fast system at wearepopup.com. A hassle-free experience, you won’t have to deal with agents – We Are Pop Up connects you directly to suitable spaces seeking brands to share their shop. You can find and book the perfect retail space in minutes not weeks and with our simple, transparent pricing there are no hidden fees.

ShopShare also allows you to pool resources and extend reach by accessing your respective customers. When McQueens florists ran a ShopShare pop up with Black Vanilla gelato, the motivation was clear according to Operations Manager Michi Kanatschnig:

“We have been embracing social media and are keen to develop our online presence further and saw a pop up collaboration as a very good way to engage in cross brand promotion.” 

Customers enjoy the McQueen’s Florists x Black Vanilla Gelato ShopShare, which was featured in Stylist, The Sunday Times, Telegraph and You Magazine. Read more about it here).

How do I use it?

Search our extensive range of ShopShare locations across the UK and mainland Europe on We Are Pop Up today and connect with them directly to agree dates and book the space. You can rent a space by the day, week or month. And if it’s going well it’s easy to extend the booking. All our rental agreements are underpinned by commercial-grade contracts so both parties are protected, making ShopShare a risk-free way to test new concepts quickly on the high street.

Start doing more business with We Are Pop Up’s ShopShare today.

shareshopnow

How to do more business with ShopShare – for shops

Transform your shop and make big returns from small spaces with ShopShare from We Are Pop Up.

At We Are Pop Up, our mission is to help independent retail thrive by thinking differently about the possibilities of space. In talking to our users we realised that we could do more to help smaller brands that wanted to test concepts in the market without committing to rent an entire shop.

That’s why we’ve launched ShopShare. ShopShare enables brands, spaces and customers to join forces in a collaboration that is mutually beneficial and co-create the high street of the future.

ShopShare: Handmade Interiors x Heritage Collection (see Handmade Interior’s ShopShare listing here, and read about the brand here)

So, what is ShopShare?

It’s an opportunity for you to rent out part of your shop, from a rail, a table, a shelf or a concession, or even the whole shop. Exactly as the name suggests – share your shop!

Why should I ShopShare?

For landlords and shop owners, ShopShare provides you with an additional revenue stream. You can turn your shop into a concession space or ‘micro-department store’ easily, with no upfront investment.

With ShopShare, retailers can also respond quickly to trends and changing tastes by offering consumers unique and exciting experiences in partnership with other brands.

“It injects a sense of excitement and change, which customers really react well to. We learn from every brand that is in store and it can be the start of a longer partnership”.

– Irena Gordon, Glassworks in Shoreditch and Dalston (read more about Glassworks’ experiences of ShopShare here)

Glassworks in Shoreditch has had over 16 ShopShare bookings, bringing in £15,909 extra revenue in 9 months.

Sourcing brands is quick and easy through our open, flexible and fast system. A hassle-free experience, you won’t receive calls from agents – We Are Pop Up connects you directly to suitable brands seeking ShopShare space for their latest products, garments or ideas.

It also allows you to pool resources and extend reach by accessing tenant/partners’ customers. When McQueens florists ran a ShopShare pop up with Black Vanilla gelato, the motivation was clear according to Operations Manager Michi Kanatschnig:

“We have been embracing social media and are keen to develop our online presence further and saw a pop up collaboration as a very good way to engage in cross brand promotion.”

Black Vanilla & McQueens Flowers Shop Share Pop Up Shop

Customers enjoy the McQueen’s Florists x Black Vanilla Gelato ShopShare, which was featured in Stylist, The Sunday Times, Telegraph and You Magazine. Read more about it here.

How do I use it?

List your space on We Are Pop Up and start browsing suitable brands right away.  You can rent out your space by the day, week or month. And if it’s going well it’s easy to extend the booking. All our rental agreements are underpinned by commercial-grade contracts so both parties are protected, making ShopShare a risk-free way to test new concepts quickly in your shop.

Start doing more business with ShopShare today.

shareshopnow

How business incubator Petit Miracle Hub helps start-ups capitalize on the shared economy

Petit Miracle retail hub launched in December 2014 to local acclaim, offering local entrepreneurs affordable retail ShopShare pop up space inside the West12 shopping centre. With the added help of a meeting room, Wi-Fi, marketing support and advice from experts, it’s a centre to help startup businesses flourish in Shepherds Bush.

Founder Elisicia Moore says “we are excited about this new kind of business incubator and retail hub in West London. It has been designed to give people a chance to become retailers, and it bridges the current gap in retail space to support small businesses.”

There are many brands already trading from a ShopShare pop up within the hub, from jewellery and homeware to street wear and elegant evening dresses. One such brand, Gullarn is a great example of some of the talented emerging brands who have popped up there. Dee Qadir, founder of Gullarn, describes her business as a unique label that aims to offer exceptional evening gowns for any occasion. After around 6 months of trading, Dee launched her pop up in the Hub after finding it through We Are Pop Up. As a result of just a few weeks trading in the Petit Miracle hub, Dee is now discussing with other retailers to stock her brand – great news for Gullarn!

Gullarn @petitmiracle with We Are Pop Up
Gullarn dresses on show from online to offline Pop Up

The collaborative nature of the hub means that independent businesses who have previously relied on growing their own audience now have the advantage of capitalising on their fellow businesses successes. The hub is a true community, supporting the entrepreneurial spirit.

Hubs are a ‘test, sell and learn’ category of pop up space – they are great spaces to gain valuable market research, check price sensitivity, and trial new designs. But it’s not always smooth sailing. “It’s a great opportunity with serious exceptional value for marketing. The collaborative culture we are creating enables the businesses to capitalise on each other’s successes. But, it’s still no easy street, it’s hard work starting out as a new business, you’ve really got to be shouting about your product from the rooftops, telling customers your story and offering great customer service. The hub is a place designed to help entrepreneurs succeed but the hard work is still up to the entrepreneurs” says the founder, Elisicia Moore.

With some brands boasting large reductions on income being spent on rent when switching to a short term pop up, isn’t it time you joined them too? For the latest ShopShare spaces available at Petit Miracle, click here, and for hundreds more check out our website.

Petit Miracle on Twitter
Petit Miracle on Facebook
Gullarn on Twitter
Gullarn on Facebook 

Blog button

New Year, New Idea

2015 is finally upon us and with the forecast looking bright for retail in the new year, thanks to low interest rates and real wage growth, there’s no time like the present for bringing your idea to life on the high street.

Indeed, January is the month for new beginnings and a time to put your dreams into action. We’ve seen the number of people bringing their ideas to life through pop ups rocket over the past year, with more than double the number of pop ups launching this January compared to last year. So if you’ve been considering starting up in business by launching a pop up, you’re in great company.

1 in 10 of us have ‘start my own business’ on their New Year’s Resolutions list.

The UK’s leading angel network and equity crowdfunding platform, Angels Den, has undertaken a piece of research looking into Britons’ New Year resolutions, and in particular their career goals and aspirations for 2015 and beyond. Participants were initially asked to reveal what they have decided to focus on as their New Year’s resolution(s) for next year, with over 10% of the 1700 respondents resolving to start their own business.

Bill Morrow, co-founder of Angels Den which carried out the research, said “I think it’s absolutely fantastic that as many as one in ten of the people we polled during this research are planning on starting their own companies during 2015. What better time to begin that exciting journey than at the start of a fresh new year.”

The most common industries that Britons are looking to break into with their start-up ideas are food and drink, fashion and I.T. So not only is January the best time of year – but this year in particular is very timely if you’re thinking of using pop-up as a route to growth.

Find your niche and bring the feel good factor

A key theme for fashion retail in 2015 will be going niche, so why not keep it simple by focusing on your best-selling product or favourite item in your new range? As far as experience-based pop ups go, it’s all about a feel-good factor on the high street to according to Retail Week

So the time’s right, but where to pop up?

Growth in consumer confidence and retail sales is being reported by Ipsos Retail’s handy Retail Weather Map in many places across the UK. For everything else – that’s where we come in and take you from listing a project idea all the way through to renting your perfect space.

And with 50% off our booking fee on all bookings made in January, regardless of start date, there’s no time like the present to test out your idea on the high street. Whatever your pop up concept, we’re here to help you every step of the way, so click here to see our latest spaces and resolve to bring your pop up idea to life.