Meet the woman who is set to open a zero waste refill shop in Northampton this summer

Customers will need to take their own containers to the shop to buy staples such as pasta and rice
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A woman who describes herself as an ‘eco-warrior’ has secured a site for a zero waste shop in Northampton.

Kerry Leese is passionate about helping the environment and more specifically reducing single-use plastic.

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The 34-year-old who hopes to open her shop called ‘Food for Thought’ just off Kingsley Park Terrace later this year, is making it her mission to change people’s mindsets about reusing items.

Kerry Leese is hoping her shop will help reduce single-use plastic.Kerry Leese is hoping her shop will help reduce single-use plastic.
Kerry Leese is hoping her shop will help reduce single-use plastic.

Kerry, who lives in Queen’s Park, said: “I’ve always been an eco-warrior and I try to do my bit but it was quite random how the shop idea came about.

“Me and a bunch of mates were having a bit of a buffet and we all brought our own stuff.

“There was a lot of single-use plastic and they were all using paper plates and were happy throwing them away.

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“I made my stuff so there was no plastic and I was going through the bin and taking everything home to put in my compost.

Kerry's shop will be called 'Food for Thought'.Kerry's shop will be called 'Food for Thought'.
Kerry's shop will be called 'Food for Thought'.

“They were taking the mick and I said “I’m going to do something then you’ll all be laughing’.

Kerry, who used to work in television before she fell pregnant with her daughter who is now 18 months old, was unable to stop thinking about the idea ever since the day with her friends.

She added: “There is nothing locally. I have been to other zero waste shops and one opened in Flore, but driving to one negates the positive benefit to the environment.

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“I say I’m opening a refill, zero waste shop, which is just a trendy version of what people used to do for decades and centuries - going to get stuff in their own containers.

“It will be as low waste as possible and not reliant on single-use plastic.”

The premises that Kerry has already secured is in Melton Street, part of an ‘independent business emporium’ alongside a number of other local traders.

“The shop is part of a little courtyard of other independent traders so you can’t really open one without the others being ready,” Kerry explained.

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“They are still sorting out my shop and I’m working out the funding my end but I hope to open in the summer.”

When the shop does open its doors to the public, ‘Food for Thought’ will offer staples such as pasta, rice, tea, coffee, beans and lentils that customers will be able to take home in their own containers, ones supplied by Kerry or ones that can be sent back to the supplier.

The shop will also offer refillable cleaning products and toiletries, as well as recyclable sanitary products.

Kerry added: “The main things I want to achieve with this are to reduce plastic waste, use local produce because we have some really good ones around here, provide really good customer service and high-quality products.

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“I want to get people out of the mindset of thinking ‘I’ll recycle that’.

“That’s good but if you can reuse it 50 times before recycling it, that’s even better.”

Kerry is still working on investments, finances and business plans, but she hopes ‘Food for Thought’ will be open ‘no later than July’.