HIP talks to one of the cooperative members, Nikki Gedney, about their new shop in Cambridge Road 

Trinity wholefoods was set up as a workers’ cooperative 34 years ago. Among their aims was a commitment to “continually reducing its environmental impact” by implementing policies of “recycling and use of ethical, sustainable and organic products – local if possible”. 

So it’s not surprising they have now opened a refill shop. Why now? As Nikki says: “We’ve already been doing refills of eco household cleaning products. There was always a demand for doing more from our customers”. With a shift in public opinion, now is the right time.

“It’s about respecting the foundation the company was set up on,” says Nikki.

Opened just over two weeks ago at 41A Cambridge Road, just up the steps from their main store in Trinity Street, things are already going “extremely well” with lots of good feedback. They currently sell a wide range of organic staples, as well as eco household and body care products.

Nikki pointed out the advantage of an “amazing customer base” who have been very supportive. But they are “delighted to find lots of new customers, some of whom have not been aware of Trinity Wholefoods before!” 

She says most of the new customers are just checking it out and getting their heads around the concept – as well as going back home to seek out their stash of containers to refill.

On prices, Nikki explains that products are cheaper than at their main store: “We have always bought in bulk and bagged up our own produce, so selling without packaging cuts out those costs,” she says. Customers can save up to a pound on many household products using refills.

An unexpected bonus is people who only want very small quantities of produce – they find they can spend less and waste less. This also applies to expensive skin care products: customers can try things out and only buy more if it suits them,” she says. 

Nikki was particularly keen to promote the nut butter machine. “In go the dry roasted organic peanuts and out comes peanut butter without any additives at all. And all at a reasonable price.”

They are also beginning to link up with companies to recycle waste. Currently they have links with Teracycle for crisp packets and an arrangement with Weleda to recycle their product packaging. 

Trinity Wholefoods est 1984 

Core values
• Plastic free
• Environmentally friendly
• Ethical
• Organic
• Natural
• Zero Waste

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