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Brixton Flavours meets the B£

Here’s a guest blog post from Oliver Mernick-Levene, the founder of the Brixton Flavours festival, which will celebrate the food of Brixton and use B£s!

 

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I’m extremely excited to tell you about a new, day-long food and drink festival, coming to Brixton on Sunday 26 October, called Brixton Flavours.  The festival will celebrate the mouth-watering tastes and delicious restaurants which can be found on Atlantic Road, Brixton Village, Coldharbour Lane, Market Row and Windrush Square.

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We have all known for years that Brixton has, without a doubt, the best food in London.  So, it’s now time to shout about it! Let’s bring together locals, Londoners and tourists alike to enjoy and revel in the warm atmosphere and diversity that is Brixton.

Though the focus of the festival is very much on the delicious food, it’s worth noting that Brixton Flavours is also a community project, aimed at supporting local businesses, restaurants and traders. Over 80 percent of the revenue goes to the participating venues and the festival will be run using paper Brixton Pounds as tokens.

It works like this: when you buy a ticket online for £15, it gets exchanged for B£15. This can then be spent in over 22 restaurants and pop-ups in Brixton centre on the day of the festival (Sun, 26th Oct). If that wasn’t good enough, ticket holders also get a special wristband giving them an ‘open pass’ to try yummy samples in over 22 Brixton venues as well.  Who can say fairer than that?

Similar to the B£, Brixton Flavours is designed to support smaller shops and traders, promote jobs and community awareness, and finally help everyone enjoy all the wonderful tastes and flavours of Brixton. This is a great opportunity to see so many wonderful places to eat, in just one day and we certainly don’t want any lazy taste buds here. So, together let’s make Brixton Flavours a festival that everyone in Brixton is proud of.

To buy tickets go to www.BrixtonFlavours.com

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#YourPound: Meet the User – Alicia

Over the last year and a half we’ve been introducing you to our traders – independent business owners who are part of the Brixton Pound family. In this new series we’d like to introduce you to the members of the community who are just as significant: the Brixton Pound users! In September Paul wrote us a guest post, and today we had a chance to meet Alicia.

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Here’s Alicia paying by text for her lunch at Satay – with a 10% discount!

Alicia Reynolds is a Senior HR Officer at Lambeth Council, her job involves dealing with a wide range of casework and enquiries on employee relations in Schools in the borough. “My job is very interesting, each day is different. Sometimes one phone call changes everything.” The stable element, however, is that Alicia automatically receives some of her pay in Brixton Pounds, and is a frequent and enthusiastic user. “I signed up when pay-by-text became available. My colleague and I purchased the paper notes when they first came out and I retained a few of the original notes as souvenirs.”

Alicia moved to Brixton from Jamaica in the late 80s. Her family then relocated nearby to Stockwell, and now live further south, in a neighbouring borough. Even still, she considers Brixton her home. “I really like it in this area. All three of my children went to school here, the youngest still does. Over the years I have seen the changes in Brixton. It is definitely not the same as it was in the 80s.”

What hasn’t changed are Alicia’s favourite places: “I always get lunch at Bushman Cafe, or Healthy Eaters. I regularly shop at Faiz grocery shop.  I would normally purchase yam, banana, plantains, and other Caribbean products. As a regular customer you get to know the Market Traders. The Traders no longer wait for the confirmation message when I pay by text, they would normally say. They’ll check for payment later.”

Pay-by-text is Alicia’s preferred payment method: “It saves me a trip to the bank. Sometimes I’ll go shopping, and then remember I don’t have any cash on me, but then I realise, I’ve got my Brixton Pounds.” It saves queuing time too: “You can ring and reserve your lunch and then go and collect it. You then pay by text without having to queue up and wait for change. The text service is good, it tells me what my balance is, and reminds me when I’m running low. All the texts are in one place, so I can easily go over my purchases.”

Alicia remembers how when pay-by-text launched many of her colleagues used the currency and Bushman’s was full of familiar faces. “But you must be getting a lot of new sign ups, no? People are always so curious when I pay by text. What service is that, they ask, and I explain how it works. I would then show them the B£ sign in the shop window that they need to look out for that tells them where they can spend their B£. You need better signs on the shops – even at Bushman’s, I sometimes have to show people that there’s a B£ sign on display in the window.” Alicia had a colleague who also was a dedicated user: “We used to work together and spend together, and always exploring new places in Brixton that accepts B£. She doesn’t work with us anymore, so now I only purchase from the shops I am accustomed to. You should encourage some of those shops on the high street, to use the Brixton Pounds. You say there are 250 businesses that take the B£? I’d like to be able to explore those shops to see what’s on offer and where I can spend my B£.

Alicia wants to keep using the Brixton Pounds. “It’s here to stay, isn’t it? I hope so.”

 

This post was amended on 20/10 as written by Alicia.

 

Would you like to be featured in our next Meet The User post? We could meet you for a chat over lunch or tea/coffee, or you could write us a guest blog. Drop us a line at [email protected]!

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New #brixtonbonus: Tweet for Treat!

Our October Bonus is a Treat for all.

Trick or Treat? With the Brixton Pound, you don’t have to choose – we’ve got no tricks and all sorts of treats. Every time you spend Brixton Pounds, a portion of the transaction goes to the Brixton Fund, a new micro grant scheme for Brixton-based projects. That means everybody gets a treat – you, the business, and Brixton!

In October we’re adding another treat to that, meaning that every time you buy something with Brixton Pounds and share a photo of it on social media, tagging the Brixton Pound and the business you bought your product or service in, we’ll give you a whole B£2!

It’s easy:

1. Buy something using Brixton Pounds

2. Take a photo of it

3. Share it on social media – Twitter or Facebook or Google +, tagging the Brixton Pound and the business where you bought the product/service

4. Add #brixtonbonus

5. You get B£2 from us!

 

Now go buy some candy.

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