Good neighbours become good friends!

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Here at Just we like to think of ourselves as good, if slightly nosey, neighbours! Having been part of the little retail community in St Martin’s Square for five years, we’re always keen to keep up with the comings and goings of the shops moving in and out.

Imagine, then, our delight when we discovered, back in the autumn, that Gelato Village were heading to the Square! We spent many weeks trying to peer through the window to see the magic unfolding inside (to no avail, it should be pointed out!) and when they finally opened in October we decided it was our neighbourly responsibility – nay, duty – to go down en masse and demonstrate our support by, er, eating gelato!!

Gelato Village and Just Fair Trade are now, as you might imagine, firm friends!

But one of the great things about friendship is that you get to challenge each other, which is exactly what we did in the run-up to Fairtrade Fortnight 2015. One quiet afternoon, shop manager Kerry took a basket of fair trade goodies down to Daniele and Antonio, Gelato Village’s gelato artisans, and asked them if they’d consider creating a gelato with fair trade ingredients. They were intrigued by the idea and said they’d see what they could do!

Kerry managed to source fair trade sugar and cocoa from Suma and Equal Exchange respectively in the kind of quantities never before seen at Just Fair Trade and Daniele and Antonio set about working their Italian magic! The result was an amazing chocolate sorbet and a rich and creamy coffee gelato.

Obviously, it was vital that both be taste tested before we were willing to promote them so Kerry and Louise dragged themselves kicking and screaming down to Gelato Village for a ‘meeting’. Suffice it to say they stayed quite a while and had to do compare-and-contrast tastings in order to ensure they were convinced by the quality of the products!!

As they chatted to Antonio about Gelato Village’s approach to creating incredible products, they found discovered just how committed they are to a ‘local’ approach, sourcing all their milk and cream from a dairy farmer in Melton Mowbray and buying their fruit at Leicester Market. It was inspiring to share different but highly complementary approaches to ethical consumption and here at Just we’re incredibly proud of this small but significant project we’ve shared with our neighbours!

Daniele and Antonio’s amazing fair trade coffee gelato and chocolate sorbet will be available at Gelato Village until the end of Fairtrade Fortnight, Saturday 7 March. Buy either and you’ll receive a sticker – take that to Just Fair Trade and we’ll give you – completely free and gratis – a bar of Equal Exchange Organic Dark Chocolate Caramel Crunch with Sea Salt (55%)!