Francesco & Aimee, long-term vegans and environmentalists, after delivering the award-winning Nutcrafter Creamery, certified organic nut cheese and butters, are now embarking in a new endeavour to provide Glasgow with Zilch, a full service artisanal bakery, deli-style vegan cheese & charcuterie counter as well as freshly prepared plant-based meals on-the-go. The shop is aimed to everyone looking for plastic free (carbon neutral), zero waste, sustainably sourced, cruelty-free and ethically manufactured products.
Why we do it
We believe eating fresh, natural and local plant-based food must not be considered exclusive, elitist or marginal, instead accessing nutritious meals while supporting local food systems need to become the way families and individuals alike strive to eat and our obligation is to make it possible and accessible.
Plastic free (carbon neutral) can seem like a daunting process for a family, let alone for a small food business but we started by rationally identifying small but achievable goals: water bottles, coffee cups/lids, straws, plastic bags, food ware (cutlery, plates etc) and takeaway containers. All of it can be replaced or eliminated altogether, keeping also in mind that, while transitioning, reusable is better than disposable. Ultimately, plastic free shopping must be rendered convenient and available to everyone thus creating an inclusive community hub.
Zero waste is an ambitious goal as well—especially for a small business operating in an industry riddled with so much waste like the food one. Taking a zero waste approach in the food business means questioning long-held assumptions and making some sacrifices in convenience and perhaps in traditional ideas of "customer service". Simply stated, the goal of Zero Waste is that of looking at the full life cycle of products and materials. A product created should be used again and again, and if it has a limited life, should be able to be composted or recycled instead of going to landfill.
We are all aware of the mantra "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" but we must actually extend it to 5 Rs as in "Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot" where "refuse" stands for prescreening and refusing products that include waste and "rot" stands for sending items to the compost, if they can be composted, to feed their nutritional value back into the earth and fuel new life. Hence the upside down pyramid to signify the amount of material left that decreases at every step.
Where we stand
We just leased a retail unit in Laurieston, Glasgow, across from the Bridge Street underground station. Situated between Gorbals, Laurieston and Tradeston neighborhoods, the shop is steps away from the City Centre as well as conveniently close to the South Side and to Citizens Theatre, O2 Academy, The Sheriff Court, the Glasgow Central Mosque and the new Barclays campus HQ at Buchanan Wharf, among others. We've started the fit out of the space, which requires full repair jobs including plumbing, electrical and joinery work. We hired a local woodworker to build a bespoke counter, shelving and furniture made with salvaged and recycled materials. We hired a local artist to draw and paint our outdoor sign. We subscribed with "Close the Loop", a composting collection service devised to create high-grade compost in a matter of weeks so that our catering waste helps to feed future crops.
How will the funds be used?
All the funds raised through this crowdfunding will be used to help us purchase a larger bread oven, bakery equipment, a fresh pasta maker and a refrigerated deli counter.