How it All Started - a little bit about us
Hello! We’re Eleanor and Sam, co owners of Almond & Co. Here on our blog we are aiming to give you tips and tricks to help you reduce your waste and shop sustainably. But we thought we’d kick things off with how Almond and Co came about – people tell us it’s quite a cool story!
When we first met we actually thought we were going to be in competition with one another! We met at Earth.Food.Love, the UK’s first zero-waste shop. To be honest, neither of us were very happy after our first encounter! It turned out we both had plans to open our own zero-waste shops and whilst we were excited to meet someone else with the same passion for the movement, when we realised we both wanted to open up in Bournemouth, well, then we were worried!
I had contacted Earth.Food.Love, based in Totnes, to ask for some work experience with the end goal of opening my own zero-waste shop. Owners, Nicola and Richard Eckersley welcomed me with open arms and there I learnt all about the day-to-day runnings of a shop. I was inspired by the couple too – they have been ground-breaking in bringing the term ‘zero-waste shopping’ away from the health food association and really introduced the modern world to the idea of plastic-free living. They are absolute ambassadors for people wanting to follow in their footsteps and for me they have been my mentors, allowing me to bring the movement to life in my little part of Dorset.
When Sam visited the shop we started chatting and after exchanging many emails and messages about locations and how we could both set up in the same area, we decided to join forces and make a go of it together! I wanted to run the shop whereas Sam always wanted to take more of a background role. He was invaluable however in making Almond & Co what it is today, taking the lead on our business plan, the shop design, the logo and branding.
Having been surfing for over twenty years, I have seen first-hand the dramatic increase in plastics in our oceans and on our beaches. I moved to the area fifteen years ago and became involved in beach cleans with Surfers Against Sewage. But I knew there was even more I wanted to do to help enable people in my local area to change how much they use plastic in their everyday lives.
I work for the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts, implementing the European Commissions’ Climate Change Service so when I started to plan a zero-waste shop, I always intended on hiring a manager. When Eleanor and I met and she said she planned to use her previous management and customer service experience to run her own shop, it made sense to team up and open one together. We feel so lucky to have found one another in order to fit the roles we were both missing.
This is Us
Our main goal is to help people easily reduce their household waste and showcase how this can be done no matter what your dietary choices and way of life. It doesn’t even have to be an ‘all or nothing’ approach – really small steps can make a big difference. We want to help detach the stigma that is associated with eco-friendly living and make it accessible, acceptable and normal to be able to shop and live in a way that reduces waste. We want to provide consumers with choices and make it easy to buy everyday items in a sustainable way.
Inside the shop you’ll find a big assortment of products. There are loads of every-day staples such as pastas and cereals but without any single use packaging. Our aim is to help you reduce you household waste dramatically - it’s not about changing what you eat, just how you shop. Pop in and let us help you find a better version of the things you love!
So, this is us! We love what we do, but we don’t really love talking about ourselves. So, for the next instalment, tell us what you’d like to know? Drop us a line and each month we’ll pick a topic and give you some of our very best tips to help you make great choices that suit you and our wonderful planet!
We’d love it if you followed us on facebook and Instagram too – there we’ll keep you posted on new products that we have available in-store and online.