The People’s Supermarket

In January of 2014, Lien – one of the DESMA Fellows based in London – began following The People’s Supermarket (TPS) as part of her case study research on social enterprises. At the time Lien joined, TPS had gone through several changes to its leadership and organizational status that resulted in growing uncertainty of the purpose and direction of the organization. This spring, Lien recognized an opportunity to connect TPS with three of us in DESMA – Veronica, Ariana, and Andrew – all working on collaborative methods for organizational change. At the beginning of June our team went to visit TPS and kickoff the research project. We spent three days in London exploring the community context around TPS, observed the day-today activities of the shop, held informal interviews with members, volunteered on the shop floor, documented customer interactions, and ran a short values & mission activity with members at their the monthly meeting.

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