Gather & Gather has opened its first retail shop as a Co-op franchisee at Oxford Brookes University in a partnership that will create 21 jobs.
The new store, which opened last week at the Headington Campus Co-op of Oxford Brookes University, will be operated by Gather & Gather and is one of the largest Co-op's stores at a UK university. The shop will focus on fresh, healthy foods with an extended range of vegan, Fairtrade and free-from products.
Gather & Gather, which is part of CH&Co, secured the 10-year contract to provide catering services within Oxford Brookes University's three Oxford campuses in 2019. The contract, worth £8.1m, is the caterer's first with a university.
Rob Fredrickson, managing director of Gather & Gather, said: "We're delighted to be the first caterer at a university that the Co-op has awarded a franchise to. The new venture is perfect for Oxford Brookes University, enhancing the vibrant campus life and supporting the values and sustainability goals of everyone.
"Our diversification into this retail franchise project has enabled us to offer our colleagues alternative opportunities, which is a welcome positive in difficult times."
Martin Rogers, head of new channels at Co-op, said: "We're delighted to be working with Gather and Gather, developing our businesses together. Our Co-op purpose is about connecting communities, bringing people together and making a difference."
Phillipa Fletcher, head of commercial services at Oxford Brookes University, said she was looking forward to working with Gather & Gather on "a range of exciting new food options for our students, staff and visitors to the University".
In September 2019 Oxford Brookes announced that its Brookes Restaurant would close in May this year due to losses averaging £280,000 annually across the last four academic years.