We are a group of people working and supporting a cooperative grocery store in Heraklion, Crete, Greece. “The Snail” is a project that serves as a center of support for local collectives and small producers which makes use of alternative local & global currencies and tries to enhance ecological awareness. The “Snail” is a part of the Integral Cooperative community and the “Kouki” Exchange Network of Heraklion.
Can you help us grow stronger?
We are a group of people who, through our participation in the community of the Integral Cooperative and the Kouki Exchange Network, decided to create a point of reference for our own economy, production and consumption in the city of Heraklion.
We believe that creating structures that will help in enriching our community’s tools to built its own self-sustainability and economy is a key point in minimizing social injustices and overcoming the existing socio-political system. That is why we are consciously aiming to become a spot where Fair Coin can be used, but also the values of Fair Coop spread. So, the purpose of the project is to create a fair spot, in the form of Co-operative Grocery, where:
§ Quality goods produced under human working conditions, small producers and work collectives will be distributed § Products from struggling communities such as those from Central and South America or from VIO.ME. employees will be promoted.
§ Social and Ethical alternative currencies such as “FairCoin” and the local alternative currency of Heraklion “Kouki” will be used, as ways of boosting emancipatory economy, towards an ethical and fair manner and not any kind of alternativism (e.g. Bitcoin).
§ The culture of waste reduction (product packs, plastic bags, etc.) will be promoted so that we slowly develop a consciousness about the footprint we leave on the earth.
§ Nutritional self-sufficiency. Given that nutrition is a key parameter that holds us captive in the existing social and economic model, we believe that a permanent retail point of goods will benefit the self-sufficiency of our community and the viability of its producers.
§ Co-operation with existing local work collectives and horizontal cooperative groups. Ideally, we would like to shape this project together, based on a wider production and distribution plan occurring from the needs of the community. This would mean to discuss what can be produced, when and in what quantities in order to cover them.
§ Support of very small and small producers. Through the cooperation and distribution of their goods, we aim for a solidarity-based trading activity which we hope to be beneficial and equalitarian for all, producers, retailers, and consumers.
§ Proximity. The ecological footprint we leave depends directly on where the goods we consume are produced. For us, it’s very important to prioritize goods produced close to us to cover the community’s needs, thus promoting the logic that correlates the need for a product with its production location.
§ The viability of this project. It’s always a big bet to cover the economic needs of the people responsible for a structure…
§ Feedback to our community. Ideally, and if its robust operation allows it, we would like our project to support financially other ones in the future, thus helping our community to autonomously and independently meet its needs through structures made by and for itself.
About the Community
In an effort to challenge today’s economic reality, we are proposing the creation of autonomous, mutually supportive structures that would hopefully cover the whole range of social needs of our community, from culture to economy. Hohlios is therefore a horizontal co-operative project, which hopes to be added to the network of complementary self-organized initiatives of Heraklion.
We aim to create an open space that will function not only as a product distribution point but as a reference point for a solidarity and alternative economy and as a frame of support for the community’s producers and consumers.
What we need
Hohlios is established in a rented space in the city centre of Heraklion, a traditionally commercial area that provides accessibility to our community as well as more visibility of the initiative towards the locals.
Launching this project required great financial resources. The practical needs that very quickly arose are quite high and beyond our own capabilities as individuals. As we believe in the collective management of the problems of everyday life and we consciously avoid any cooperation with corporate banks, we turn to you to support financially this structure. From this campaign we aim to cover only a part of the costs, while the rest will be filled by other means such as our collective budget, support from the local community and solidarity from groups that can help with the restoration of the store. More specifically, the main initial costs are as follows:
- Equipment (refrigerators, shelves, kitchen tables etc) 5.000€
- Repairs / Space preparation 3.000€
- Engineer’s payments 3.000€
- Rents for the first 6 months 1.500€
We are open to any discussion and input regarding the form and the type of support for project, as well as to partnerships with corresponding platforms, networks and projects that promote collectivization of our life and labor. For more information, questions or contact please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org