The member-owned sustainable food co-operative had argued that its store had a “clear public benefit” to the local people and society as a whole, and should therefore benefit from the rates relief commonly afforded to non-profit and charitable organisations.
However, Highbury magistrates did not agree, and in a hearing held last week the store was ordered to pay arrears of £35,000, and business rates of £45,000 for next year.
The bill would prevent the store from fulfilling some of its future community projects, co-founder Kate Wickes Bull said.
It has agreed to pay back £600 a week as part of a weekly payment plan over the next two years.
Planned store improvements including the instillation of air conditioning, and more environmentally friendly fridges, would all be shelved as a result, Wickes Bull added.