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L'Entrepote - Turning a crisis into an opportunity

Updated: Oct 13, 2022

Written by Aurélie-Anne Jacquerye, project manager and Groof coach, Groupe One, Belgium

The goal of the greenhouse « Green(s)pote» led by l'Entrepote​ in Brussels (Belgium) is to enable the neighbours to garden all year long and produce vegetables such as tomatoes, peas, salads, herbs, etc. A part of the production will directly go to the kitchen of Belgobon, the restaurant just below the Garden.

The l'Entrepote project was born on the initiative of four associates and friends; Laurent, Elodie, Corentin, Juliette. L'Entrepote is a vibrant place in the heart of Brussels that hosts a coworking space, an event room and the icing on the cake: a urban vegetable garden on their roof!

Their motivation and primary objective: create a link within their neighbourhood. Practically, this involves afterworks every Thursday, workshops to learn how to grow vegetables in the city, how to preserve vegetables, etc. By 2021, their objective would be to increase the period of production and activities around the vegetable garden by building a greenhouse on their roof. A greenhouse that will be heated thanks to the building's losses, hence their motivation to join the Groof project.

In mid-March 2020, as for most of us, everything changes with the COVID19 crisis: no more events, workshops, training, contacts with the people of the neighbourhood. After the consternation, the four partners bounce back, they indeed have plenty of resources: a local area, contacts with suppliers and food producers, a network in the neighbourhood... They also understand very quickly that people in the neighbourhood are encountering new problems. Among others, people have difficulties getting supplies and are not very confident about going to the supermarket. Within a few days, Entrepote has established a food collection and a delivery point service. The success is quickly at hand! Even if their new activity also brings its load of new problems; difficulties of removal due to the rules of containment, food that is out of stock, etc.... The four associates are very happy with their initiative. The bond they had created with the people from the neighbourhood has been strengthened, and others are delighted to discover the Entrepote and all its activities. For example, they have enabled a restaurant owner and baker who was forced to close his restaurant to start baking bread, they have rediscovered local producers such as Beerfood with its crackers and many other local food initiatives in Brussels.

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