Nourish founder Sarah Martin at The Bran Tub

Second zero waste store will help to green up Exeter

Sue Cade
Authored by Sue Cade
Posted Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 1:18pm

Bucking the trend for high street closures, zero waste provisions business Nourish is to open a second branch the heart of Exeter in mid-April.

Founder Sarah Martin announced plans for the new shop in popular independent shopping destination Magdalen Road, recently named as one of “10 cool shopping districts around the world” in the Guardian.

Nourish of Topsham launched in March 2018 and with business booming, Sarah has been on the lookout for an additional location. The perfect opportunity arose when Phil and Stella Brock, owners of wholefood shop The Bran Tub, decided to retire.

“The position is spot on and Magdalen Road is a great fit for the business,” Sarah explained.

“It’s like having an entire shop on a single street; with a greengrocer, fishmonger, butcher, deli and soon a provisions store for dry goods, fresh products and environmentally friendly non consumables, astute shoppers can bypass supermarket shopping entirely if they want to.”

She believes that having two stores to choose from will help customers from a wider area begin to change their shopping habits, lessening reliance on single use plastic packaging and other waste materials; the Nourish model encourages customers to bring their own reusable containers to fill.

“The benefit for existing customers in Exeter who previously had to make a special journey to Topsham is that they will now be able to walk or cycle to Nourish,” added Sarah. “And I’m hoping we’ll attract a whole new customer base at the same time.”

For those who need to drive to Magdalen Road, the shop is conveniently positioned opposite a block of free half hour parking bays.

To facilitate the expansion, Sarah has taken on a business partner. Stavros Stratas, who has an MSc in Economics and a role at Hotelbeds, is now a shareholder and director of the Nourish. He says he was looking for just such a business opportunity. “The chance to join Sarah and the Nourish family was simply too good to pass up. I’ve been involved for some years in an advisory capacity with an agricultural start up employing ethically and ecologically conscientious practises. However, the nature of that industry meant I never felt close enough to the end consumer.

“Coming onboard at Nourish gives me a ‘pitchside’ opportunity to engage with the general population and help drive a business, a retail movement and a way of thinking.”

With awareness of the impact of plastics on the environment growing, Nourish gives people the chance to make a tangible difference. Each individual sale is counted by the business as one piece of plastic saved; since the first shop opened, the total already equates to tens of thousands of pieces saved.

For Phil and Stella Brock, it’s a perfect ending to their own 30-year journey with The Bran Tub as they were keen for a business with a similar ethos to take on the premises. This is the icing on the cake for Sarah: “I’m happy that the Brocks are able to retire in the knowledge that their loyal customer base will be pleased with the alternative that Nourish offers.”

Existing staff members of The Bran Tub have been invited to stay on and be part of the new journey for the shop.

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