Woman standing outside shop

Hat trick for Nourish with new Ashburton zero waste shop

Sue Cade
Authored by Sue Cade
Posted: Friday, June 18, 2021 - 13:21

Green-minded Ashburton shoppers can now choose from a wide range of packaging-free food and household products with the opening of Nourish Zero Waste in the town centre.

It’s the third shop for Nourish founder Sarah Martin, who launched the business in Topsham in 2018 followed by Magdalen Road, Exeter in 2019.

Sarah took on the West Street premises after previous occupant The Stove Store moved to a bigger site. “I’ve been keeping an eye out for a location in Ashburton for quite a while and this ticked all the boxes,” she says. “I love the vibe of the town and its strong community feel.”

Nourish ‘mark three’ is in its element, situated amongst other local independent businesses including Ashburton Delicatessen, bookseller Gnash, Rafikis vegetarian café, and clothing and gift shop My Fabulous Things. She comments “There’s a lot of support for independents here, and I’m already getting positive reactions from locals and visitors to the town.”

The Nourish concept is based on offering loose products sold by weight, with customers encouraged to bring in their own containers to fill and able to buy as much or as little as they like. Sarah believes that Ashburton shoppers aiming for a more sustainable lifestyle will relish the chance to change their shopping habits and lessen reliance on single use plastic packaging and other waste materials.

“Customers in the other Nourish shops have really embraced the concept, reusing everything from jam jars and margarine tubs to paper bags and laundry liquid bottles - we don’t mind what containers are made from because the whole point is to reuse rather than throw away!”

Products that can be bought loose range from coffee and tea, dried fruit, nuts, oil, pasta and rice to household products including laundry liquid, shampoo and hand sanitiser. And there’s more good news for customers looking for choice. “Because it’s the largest Nourish to date we have extra space to expand the range - especially non-food items such as environmentally friendly soaps and sponges through to candles and reusable cups. It’s the first of our shops to stock a range of bags and backpacks from Wyatt & Jack made from salvaged bouncy castles, upcycled vintage deckchair canvas and inflatables.”

Sarah says that Nourish is committed to showcasing local suppliers, so in the new shop there’s Tea’s Me from Teignbridge, No 1 Coffee from Okehampton and bamboo toothbrush supplier Truthbrush, which is based in Ashburton itself. “We’re on the lookout for more local producers and makers whose ethos aligns with ours, too,” she says.

Nourish Ashburton is providing two new jobs for the town, with potential opportunities for part time work in the future. The shop is located for easy access from nearby Broad Street car park, and there’s a bus stop directly outside.

It took just two weeks from taking ownership of the keys to opening the front doors, but the journey wasn’t without its challenges. Sarah explains “The week before we opened, there was a series of mishaps, from me locking myself out, delays to shopfitting deliveries and  the broadband installation – and then the dispensers arrived late, after the food products arrived!

“We had to delay the opening - but we got there, and I’m pleased to say that the shop has busy with customers wanting to know more about the concept of zero waste.”

So far, the reaction has been extremely positive. Ella White of Ella Artisan Bakers says “Nourish really enhances the town and complements our business. We are delighted to welcome Sarah and the team to Ashburton.”

And when photographer Tony Cobley who lives locally, came to take images of the new shop he said he was so impressed he’s going to become a customer!