Our Bletchley Refill Shop
If you are reading this you are probably familiar with how Molly’s Pantry started. As there still seems to be some confusion about exactly what we are doing down at “the old vets”. I thought an update would be useful. We have developed over the last 14 months, increasing our range from fruit and veg to near enough a one stop shop. Part of that process was investing in our refill wall.
Not a Zero Waste Shop – A Low Waste Shop
We are not a “Zero waste” shop. Zero waste is a marketing term that has been designed to part the eco minded with their money. We aim for low waste. Providing services on any large scale produces waste. Transporting 25kg bags of produce on pallets across the country is not a waste free enterprise. Molly’s Pantry do not hide our waste from people, but we make it our ethos to reduce and educate where ever possible. This is a natural progression from well sourced, largely plastic free local fresh produce. Moving from Grocery delivery service to low waste one stop shop seemed to fit us well.
An ode to “old” Bletchley
Often, our customers often refer back to the days of Bletchley. Weigh’n’Save sat in-between Makays and Oxfam on Queensway, Bletchley high street around 1995 ( Lovely photo to be found here )– The shop consisted of huge bins of bulk value goods which were accessible to all incomes.
Designed with accessibility in mind
During our research phase, we discovered that a lot of refill style shopping had huge barriers at point of access. The biggest barriers were pricing and allergies. For the most part, “zero waste” stores have a “eco tax” with £4.50 per kilo pasta and a soul focus on organics. Which is great, but realistically a small percentage of us can afford to shop like that. Expense, along with concerns relating to life threatening allergies led us to make decisions such as banning loose nuts in store (all nuts are packaged) and making all purchase desicions with finacial acessiblilty in mind. We want everyone to feel safe to shop with us.
The Pantry initiated a basic initial range of 50 affordable products that could be purchased from our Bletchley store as a nod back to the Milton Keynes weigh’n’save days. Our customer base spans all demographics from experimental cooks seeking a small amount of a specialist ingredient to large families budgeting basics. The refill wall worked well, with one downside; it wasn’t big enough.
Refill groceries delivered to your door
As the range grew as did the sales platforms. We not only sell our refill products from our Milton Keynes store but also across our ecommerce home delivery service. Refill can be ordered via our website in various weights to suit all households. It is then carefully packed in recycled paper bags, labelled and added to our other ranges to be delivered in our temperature-controlled van.
Where are we now?
At present The Pantry has around 150 store cupboard food and household items available on refill in our Bletchley store. This includes a dedicated gluten free range, which is housed away from potential cross contamination. The entire range spans basics, gluten free, sweets, specialist teas and specialist ingredients. So, If you thought that we were just about fruit and veg, it might be worth popping in to see how things have grown. You can find us at 111 Buckingham Road, Bletchley, MK3 5HZ. No appointment needed, open 10-16.30 Tuesday and Thursday, 10.00 – 19.00 Wednesday, 10.00 – 18.00 Friday and 10.00-16.00 Saturday. Bring your own containers…