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Marisa delivers her recipe for success

PUBLISHED: 15:39 22 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:12 14 October 2010

MARISA LEAF: 'Everyone was telling us what a great idea it was'

MARISA LEAF: 'Everyone was telling us what a great idea it was'

MARISA Leaf wants to bring high quality food from Islington s independent shops to your doorstep. The former human rights lawyer, 32, is the founder of Hubbub, an online grocery store that sources food from local bakers, butchers and fishmongers and deli

MARISA Leaf wants to bring high quality food from Islington's independent shops to your doorstep.

The former human rights lawyer, 32, is the founder of Hubbub, an online grocery store that sources food from local bakers, butchers and fishmongers and delivers it direct to residents.

Its aim is to combine the convenience of shopping from your sofa with the quality you can find by searching out the small specialist sellers dotted around Islington - for people who don't have the time to do so themselves.

She said: "I'm a barrister by training. I left the bar in 2007 to start up Hubbub. I spent a year researching it and finally at the end of 2008 we ran a pilot scheme with two shops, Frank Godfrey Family Butcher and La Fromagerie, both in Highbury Park, Highbury. We built a basic website just to see if it would work.

"We did that for six weeks and it went extremely well. Everyone was telling us what a great idea it was and that they would much rather buy from independent shops than big supermarkets."

The company, which is based in Ronalds Road, Highbury, had its official launch at the beginning of this year, after a more sophisticated website had been built.

Ms Leaf hopes the business can help Islington's independent shops to win back customers from the big supermarket chains - and she believes thriving independent shops can really help to strengthen communities.

She said: "If a place feels unique and has a sense of community then it will keep attracting more people who care about their community.

"Local shops tend to employ local people and use other local businesses. All of that money goes back into the local economy and community. If you spend money at a big supermarket much less money goes back into the community. It really does make a difference."

The company now has eight suppliers and delivers to homes in Highbury, Islington, Finsbury Park and Tufnell Park - with plans to expand across the borough and beyond.

Ms Leaf, who lived in Islington for 10 years before selling her Barnsbury home earlier in the summer, added: "Each of our suppliers does one thing really well. I'm really pleased to be working with them - they're so passionate about what they do.


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