Guild Foods

Guild Foods Market, which opened to huge acclaim in Guildford in 2019 thanks to its upmarket convenience concept, has changed hands and will re-open as a Southern Co-op site.

Rahul Shah, who previously ran the store with his father Mayank, said: “We are pleased to be passing the running of the store to a team which is based just down the road. Southern Co-op has a strong community ethos so we hope that this change will be good for the local residents and a positive alternative. It was time for my father to take a step back but the store will continue to meet people’s needs – whether they need a pint of milk or a choice of locally produced food.”

It is currently closed for alterations and as a result, thousands of pounds-worth of food and other goods from the shop are being donated to North Guildford Foodbank, The Hive and The Salvation Army.

Southern Co-op hopes to build on the Shah’s success by continuing with all of the existing popular products, such as Cook ready meals and adding more. The new range will include an in-store bakery, hot food and drinks to takeaway, fresh fruit and vegetables, Amazon lockers and Southern Co-op’s Local Flavours range.

There will also be new environmentally-responsible additions such as a soft plastic recycling point making all Co-op branded food packaging easy to recycle in the Guildford area.

As part of Southern Co-op’s commitment to tackling climate change, the store will include eco-friendly technology such as LED lighting, a building management system to reduce electricity use and electronic shelf-edge labels which reduces paper wastage.

All single-use carrier bags will be compostable and the only alternatives will be long-lasting fold-away bags and large shoppers.

Tony Scott, Southern Co-op’s area manager, said: “We are really happy to be able to retain the sense of independence in this store while bringing in some new sustainable elements which we hope the local residents will value.

“It is also an added bonus to be able to make such a considerable donation ahead of the reopening to the local foodbank – which is relied on by so many people at the moment. This support will be ongoing with a collection point in store for customers who wish to donate to North Guildford Foodbank.”

The new-look store will re-open on December 21 and will keep the existing opening hours – Monday to Saturday 6am to midnight, and Sundays 7am to 11pm.