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To show our support for independent businesses, we have started the Support Our Independents campaign to promote not only businesses themselves but the wonderful people behind them. We want to show off our amazing customers and share their stories. We know how crucial independent shops, restaurants, and cafes are both to the local communities in which they are located and to the local economy. They are deeply rooted in the fabric of culture that makes up the places that we live. Find out about some of our amazing customers below. 

Episode 10: Simply Green

We have reached our 10th episode of Support Our Independents! In this episode, Essential visits Bethan at Simply Green in Nailsea. We spoke about Plastic Free July, what barriers may prevent customers from shopping sustainably, and what can be done to make zero waste more accessible.

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Episode 9: Fox & West

fox & west a board sign outside shop

In our 9th episode of Support Our Independents, Essential visited Fox & West in Bristol. Area Manager Jazz spoke to Lee about what it means to be a small business and describes the supportive community that Fox & West have in Totterdown.

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Episode 8: Herbivore Vegan Deli 

a board sign for herbivore vegan deli outside shop

Quite possibly the world's smallest vegan deli, Herbivore Vegan Deli opened its doors just before Christmas in Wapping Wharf in Bristol. Store owner Janice speaks to Lee at Essential about the rise of veganism, the difficulties local businesses face and how she decides what to stock in such a small retail space.

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Episode 7: Just1Swap

At the end of February, Lee at Essential travelled to Boscombe in sunny Bournemouth to meet Ellen at Just1Swap. Ellen spoke to us about how the opening of Just1Swap came about, dispelling the myth that zero waste stores are expensive compared to chain supermarkets, and the difficult times ahead for small business owners.

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Episode 6: Churchtown Stores

We visited Churchtown Stores in St. Agnes, Cornwall, at the beginning of the year and spoke with new owner Marie about how the rich culture and heritage of Cornwall shapes the business. She also told us about the local community and what it means to them, as well as how being a local fruit and vegetable grower led to her acquiring the much-loved store.

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Episode 5: Christine's Sustainable Supermarket 

For our 5th Support Our Independents episode, we visited Christine's Sustainable Supermarket in Bradford-on-Avon. Christine spoke to us about supporting small businesses over supermarkets, the importance of eco-conscious shopping, and what it means to be your own boss.

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Episode 4: Swindon Pulse Wholefoods

smiling man stands outside swindon pulse wholefoods shop

In December 2022, we visited Swindon Pulse Wholefoods for our 4th episode of Support Our Independents. They spoke to us about the history of the co-operative, how they have had to adapt as a result of the global pandemic, and what lies ahead for Swindon Pulse Wholefoods.

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Episode 3: Iechyd Da @ CF14

In our 3rd episode of Support Our Independents, Lee sat down with Alwen from Iechyd Da @ CF14. She spoke about the importance of locally supplied food, what the local community means to them and what is was like to be open during the height of the COVID pandemic.

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Episode 2: Artichoke Wholefoods

two smiling people, a man and a woman, outside their shop

In our 2nd episode of Support Our Independents, we visit Artichoke Wholefoods. We speak to owners Penny and Jonny about the first eleven months at their location in Fishponds, the launch of their new Crowdfunder campaign, and what it means to be an independent business in Bristol. 

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Episode 1: Future Doughnuts

For our first Support Our Independents episode, we visited the 100% vegan doughnut shop Future Doughnuts. September 2022 marks their first year anniversary at their premises in St Philips, Bristol. It was great to meet Kay and the team and discuss what it was like to start open a small business at the tail end of a global pandemic.

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