The Observer newspaper's "New Radicals" series has made a list of 50 inspirational Britons improving the lives of people and communities across the UK in radical and creative ways. Many are not really radicals in the old sense of the world. Rather they are people using their skills, knowledge and expertise to try to benefit society without a profit motive.
Rubies in the Rubble , weighing in at number 26 in the list, make delicious chutney out of discarded fruits and vegetables found at wholesale markets.
The founders--one was a former hedgie and she teamed up with a friend--were horrified at the amount of perfectly good fruits and vegetables that were being discarded each night. They decided to start making and selling chutney made from these surpluses.
Their other goal was to help people in need by providing employment, a livelihood and a community for them. So on every level they were finding great things that had been discarded by society.
The women make about 200 jars a week and sell them at the big and popular Borough Market, on Saturdays. The flavours: Nutty Pear - Pear and Walnut Chutney, Apple Chutney with grace and ginger, Racy Ruby - Spicey Tomato Chutney and Ginger Berry Rose - Red Onion Chutney. Yummy.
But they want to expand: there is a wholesale food market in every major city: the Rubes in the Rubble concept could spread across the country. They haven't even attempted to go to farms where there is often more discarded food.
Their mission is simple; "to highlight the excessive amount of perfectly good food that is wasted in the UK and create employment for people with limited opportunities." As one says " “I want Rubies in the Rubble to be the Ben & Jerry’s of the chutney world. I’d love it to be replicated around the country. I want the idea to spread.”
News update: Rubies in the Rubble founder is interviewed in Cool Hunting; they are still going strong.