Our First Year
Happy bEARTHday to us! We have been trading for one year now and it has flown by. We are overwhelmed with how well our shop has been welcomed by everyone. The local people of Totnes have made us feel like we’ve always been here, their continuing support. high energy and contagious enthusiasm has made the daunting first year of running a business, an enjoyable and successful one. The term ‘zero waste’ has quickly gained momentum all over the world, we remember when we first told our friends/family our plan and we had to really explain what it means, but now there are people from all walks of life striving for less waste- how exciting! Much to our surprise we have been featured in many publications; The Guardian, The Independent, CNN, Sky News, BBC Spotlight and Toronto News. Another pleasant surprise was just how many people planned their summer holidays around visiting our shop, how awesome is it that people are putting that much emphasis on bettering themselves that they make it the focus of a family trip?!
Shortly after opening we hosted the talk with activist, Rob Greenfield. Whilst visiting he created a short video on our shop and posted it on his Facebook page, this helped spread our message (currently has 2.4 Million views) and we will be forever grateful (Thanks Rob), we recommend following his page to see his latest adventures and challenges as he strives to make the world a better place. The weeks have just rolled on by since then, each week we see more and more new faces visit us and through customer demand we began to open on Mondays and then we even added a late night shopping every Tuesday evening, giving even more people the opportunity to use less plastic. We expected a quiet dip come January, but it was our busiest month to date; turns out a lot of people had made a resolution to ditch disposable! (What a time for change, wow!). Another element that has added to the success of our shop is the team we work with, if you’ve shopped with us before you’ll of had the pleasure of chatting to some of the guys that work with us and you’ll see how knowledgeable, passionate and friendly they are, a real asset to the shop!
We have received hundreds of emails from people all over the world (literally; New Zealand, Canada, France, South Africa…) wanting help setting up a shop of their own. We worked hard on creating a free downloadable PDF that acts as a guide on setting up your own zero waste shop. We have also spoken with and advised people via skype and in person that has resulted in stores opening in South Africa and New Zealand and the imminent opening of stores in Bristol, Wales and Birmingham. We have also been asked many times to franchise, which we hadn’t even thought of before we began. So what does the future hold for Earth.Food.Love? At the moment all our energy is accounted for with the shop (oh and a toddler) and we have no plans to expand. It makes us more than happy to know that other people are out there, working towards opening more zero waste shops. To know that we’ve inspired people is more than enough for us, we don’t want world domination, we don’t want to be lured into the capitalist bubble, we just want less plastic used and it seems the ball is now in motion. Moving down to Totnes and opening the shop was also a chance for us to live a little slower and spend more time together as a family, something that would be robbed of us if we were to stretch ourselves even further. The only thing we are tempted by is to keep adding more products, which if you’ve seen the shop lately you’ll know we’ve already used every nook and cranny. So who knows, in the future we may move to a larger premises here in Totnes, but we are going to let this happen organically and trust the process as we did in the past. All we know is that we are meant to be here and doing what we are doing, it just feels so right and to quote Richard saying, ‘I just love what I’m doing. I love going to work each day. I love making a difference and I love our customers’. So from all three of us; thank you for supporting our dream and helping us make it a reality.