Convenience store cutting plastic waste

Nuts about her eco-friendly snack pod dispsensers. Rachael Hockmeyer. EMN-190618-141021001
Nuts about her eco-friendly snack pod dispsensers. Rachael Hockmeyer. EMN-190618-141021001

A new coffee shop for the Holdingham end of town could be open within two weeks, creating 10 new jobs, according to owners.

Hockmeyers Garage owners Rachael Hockmeyer and Christian Slingsby are refurbishing old stone barns on their land formerly occupied by a used car dealer, to become a franchise of Irish-based coffee shop chain, Insomnia.

Free filtered water station in store at Hockmeyers Garage. EMN-190618-141143001

Free filtered water station in store at Hockmeyers Garage. EMN-190618-141143001

It is due to open for business in early July.

Rachael explained it was exciting to be setting out on their new venture: “The franchise company has advised us and will supply the food. Christian has had his training at their store in Rugby and our assistant manager and myself will be going this week. The company will be sending a team over from Ireland for our first two or three days.”

It forms part of an evolution of the family business over the last few months with a revamp of their on-site Spar store too.

As one of Spar franchise holding company A F Blakemore’s 10 independent ‘flagship’ stores, they have introduced extra touches including the installation of loose, dry food dispenser pods in store, three months ahead of the recent announcement that Waitrose was introducing the same sort of thing.

Taking shape - the new Insomnia coffee shop being fitted out ready for July. EMN-190618-141106001

Taking shape - the new Insomnia coffee shop being fitted out ready for July. EMN-190618-141106001

The plastic dispensers allow customers to fill up paper bags, or their own containers, with helpings of beans, rice, muesli and other cereals in the grocery aisle, or crackers, dried bananas and nuts in the snacks aisle, reducing plastic packaging at source.

They also have a free, filtered water station where customers can fill up their own bottles to reduce plastic waste, or buy one of the reusable bottles.

Rachael said: “We are moving away from single use plastics and moving to wooden forks with our snacks. It is about trying to be innovative and ahead of the game. We have had a lot of support from A F Blakemore as they are really forward-thinking.

“It is working well and creating a lot of interest. We were drinking too much coffee at work so this is helping too.”

In another innovation, they have replaced shelf labels with digital read-outs, linked to tills, cutting waste when prices change.