We took over the shop in May this year, running it as a co-operative, owned and run by the community, after the previous owners were unable to keep going. We registered as a Community Benefit Society, meaning we are essentially “not-for-profit” with any profits the shop does make going back into the business and in future, to community outreach projects to spread the word about healthy eating and living.
The shop is in Bideford’s pedestrianised town centre, in North Devon, a small town surrounded by beautiful beaches and rolling countryside.
Our customers vary from young people embracing healthy eating, those changing to a plant based lifestyle, families and the more elderly, looking for natural ways to improve their health.
Being able to help people live a more healthy lifestyle is great. I also love chatting to our customer and as well as helping them, I also learn a great deal from them. As the shop manager, I am passionate about plant based living and get secretly excited whenever one of our suppliers brings out something new!
The most difficult aspect is almost certainly competition from the big supermarkets (Bideford has most of them!) and the out of town retail parks that offer free parking. But we are realising that our customers value the personal touch and knowing the provenance of their food.
Is there an event/promotion coming up in your shop/village/area that you would like people to know about?
We are actively recruiting new Directors to sit on our Governing Board to help steer the business, as well as volunteers working in the shop or behind the scenes; there’s always admin to do, social media posts, website updates and shop maintenance. We welcome anybody who has a coupe of hours to spare in any capacity.
To eat well and live well...get out any enjoy the fresh air, the beaches, the countryside, smile and be happy.