Successful first week for Fillfull, the new zero-waste, plastic-free shop in Ottery

PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 August 2018

Alice Bardwell and Dan Prince are the owners of  Ottery's first zero waste shop called Fillfull. Ref sho 33 18TI 0071. Picture: Terry Ife

Alice Bardwell and Dan Prince are the owners of Ottery's first zero waste shop called Fillfull. Ref sho 33 18TI 0071. Picture: Terry Ife

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Customers can bring their own containers to new plastic-free shop, which also sells gluten and dairy free food

Shoppers in Ottery St Mary have given a warm welcome to the town’s first zero-waste, plastic-free shop, which also sells gluten and dairy-free food, natural cosmetics and environment-friendly cleaning products.

Fillfull opened in Mill Street on Thursday, August 16. Customers can bring their own containers for dry foods such as flour, beans pasta and rice, and bottles to refill with liquid products. Tea, coffee, oils and spices are on sale, and there is a selction of pies, pasties, Scotch eggs and delicious cakes – all gluten and dairy free.

“It’s gone very well, better than we expected,” said Dan. “We’re selling lots of everything, really. People are very happy about it. Especially people with food allergies – they say, ‘can I really eat all these things?’”

Alice and Dan, who both come from a sales background, have been avoiding disposable plastic for 10 years, and switched to gluten and dairy free foods four years ago, after their daughter was born with intolerances to both. Rather than cooking separate meals for her, the whole family changed their diet. This made Alice and Dan aware of how difficult it was to find all the products they needed under one roof, while remaining plastic-free.

They came up with the idea for a zero-plastic shop that would be a one-stop shop for food staples, household products, cosmetics and freshly-made pies and cakes suitable for people on dairy or gluten-free diets.

The couple restored the former Post Office building themselves, and launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £3,500 to fit out the shop. It attracted immediate support from local residents, raising £4,028 in just 37 days. A total of 115 people pledged money, with many posting comments about how much they were looking forward to shopping at Fillfull when it opened.

Fillfull source their products from local food producers and artisan creators. There is also a small meeting area in the shop called The Hub, which people can use to connect or for holding workshops. “We won’t charge people for using it,” said Dan. “The whole point is that we’re offering a service to the community.”

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