What is Awesome Wales and why are we doing this?
Awesome Wales is a social enterprise aiming to open a Zero waste store and coffee shop slap bang in the middle of Barry town centre. Our aim is to help you to protect the environment, save money and eat more healthily, all while doing your weekly shop.
Awesome will be a plastic free shopping experience, no unnecessary plastic packaging, no plastic straws or coffee cup lids, no plastic toothbrushes and razors and definitely no plastic carrier bags! Instead we will offer products that are environmentally friendly and ethically produced, including bamboo toothbrushes, metal straws, reusable takeaway coffee cups and obviously there will be zero plastic packaging.
What’s on offer at Awesome Wales, Barry?
Our aim at Awesome is to allow you to purchase most of the things you buy in your weekly shop at the supermarket, without the unnecessary plastic packaging. All our products will be ethically produced and locally sourced, our bakery items are baked in Cardiff, our dairy products come from Barry, even our coffee beans are roasted in Pontypridd. Speaking of coffee, Awesome will also include a zero waste, ethically sourced and environmentally friendly coffee shop. This will also be selling locally produced cupcakes, tray-bakes and brownies along with crisps in home compostable packets and fruit.
Here at Awesome Wales we understand that people have different budgets and disposable incomes, we also believe that this should not restrict you from taking part in the zero waste lifestyle. On opening we will be stocking over 400 lines of items, including a range of 30 core products sold at a lower cost. This range will include pantry staples such as rice, bran flakes and oats, enabling people of all budgets to take advantage of our range whilst still ensuring they are buying good quality, ethically produced and sourced products. We will also be stocking 50 different herbs and spices, specialist dried goods such as hemp seeds, brown lentils and oat bran, wet goods including fabric conditioner and washing detergent and toiletries such as shampoo, soaps, hair conditioner, even bamboo toilet roll.
There will also be items stocked for those with special dietary requirements including vegan friendly, gluten free and cruelty free toiletries too.
Awesome is a social enterprise which means the local community is vitally important to us. With this in mind we are hoping to use our coffee shop space to hold community events and workshops.
We're hoping to work with Repair Cafe Wales to host a monthly event where you can get your broken items repaired instead of throwing them away and buying new ones. This will reduce the number of items ending up in landfill and save you money at the same time. We will be hosting cooking workshops where you can learn to cook from scratch using healthy wholefood ingredients. There will also be educational, environmental workshops where you will learn how to make your own cleaning products such as fabric conditioner and even dishwasher tablets. All of these workshops and events have a dual purpose to reduce wastage and to create a community spirit and atmosphere.
As a Community Interest Company profits from the company will also be invested in local community groups and activities, allowing more people to become involved and decreasing social isolation.
Why zero waste?
Like many people, we watched in horror the BBC documentary 'Blue Planet II', and realised that something needed to be done to save our environment. Mankind’s current reliance on plastic cannot continue without it having a devastating impact on the environment and wildlife, we’ve all seen the terrible pictures of sea life being affected by plastic waste in our oceans. We realised that whilst campaigning on a large scale, like the recent protests in London by Extinction Rebellion, is great at bringing government's attention to the issues, we can all can take steps that make a difference right now. A few small changes made by a whole bunch of people can make a huge impact. We will help you to make these small changes, by offering an ethical alternative to the supermarket giants.
Donations and how we’ll use them
There's a significant set up cost to make a shop like this work for the whole community, we won't bore you with all the details but we will need everything from scales to food dispensers and flooring to baby changing. We promise to invest your money wisely in the best equipment for the job, maximising the opportunity for our customers to serve themselves and re-connect with the food we're selling.
Your investment will also help us to purchase all of the lovely stock for the shop floor, sourcing from local growers, bakers and food co-ops. Our orders will be delivered to us in sustainable packaging, ensuring that the shop's landfill waste is minimal.
Our aim is to place orders with companies that offer circular economy when delivering items, his will ensure less plastic wastage and therefore continue our companies vision to be “Zero Waste and plastic free in Barry”
In return for your pledges we have over 25 different rewards available, from getting your name on our wall of gratitude, sourdough starter kits, reusable coffee cups and free coffees,to our Awesome day out if you are feeling particularly generous. Whatever your preferences we are sure you will find a reward to your liking and definitely worth pledging for.