New business Grocer Goods, is a collection of simple yet beautiful items for everyday use. Showcased in local grocery store The Grocer at 91 in the lovely market town of Old Amersham in Buckinghamshire, it’s been launched by long time friends Jane Scott & Kim Bates.
RETAILERS, RESTAURANTS, RETREATS
RETAILER • GROCER GOODS • OLD AMERSHAM • UK
Can you tell us about Grocer Goods?
We've been friends for many years, having met as buyers for the same high street retailer and often spoke about going into business together. With our shared interest in a more sustainable lifestyle, being mindful of how much you need and enjoying the items you choose to live with now seemed like the perfect time to realise our ambition.
It’s been a real pleasure putting together a range of products that we really love! Although personally we have different styles, with Jane being more vintage inspired and Kim more mid century focused, we’re both experienced in defining who our customer is and finding products that we believe they will appreciate and enjoy. Falcon enamelware is a perfect example of this as it’s classic but minimal styling fits into many different interiors and it’s robust functionality means it will last a lifetime.
What made you decide to open a store for homes and gardens?
As shops are what we’ve always known we’ve naturally been drawn to a retail environment. Having a display of our products in store has really helped raise awareness of what we’re doing and also given customers the chance to experience the look and feel of the products. We’re still great believers that beautifully curated stores will always be a destination for design savvy shoppers. That said, we're also aware of the significant costs involved in a bricks and mortar business and so are focussed on building a strong online presence to give us the opportunity to grow the brand.
You've recently started selling Falcon enamelware. What’s your favourite product and what do you use it for?
Jane - my favourite is the Samphire green 1 pint jug. As a floral stylist It’s the perfect size for a small posy of cutting patch flowers
Kim - I love the white & blue rimmed teapot, it’s a true classic that will never date and will always be useful!
Is there a specific dish that you would personally make using any of our Falcon products?
We’ve both found the small tray is a great size for baking. Kim’s preference is for roasted seasonal veg whilst Jane cooks up a mean fruit crumble.
Are there any other local companies you'd like to shoutabout? Where do you usually eat, drink, and source ingredients in your local area?
Our sister company The Grocer Shops has a lovely eatery and coffee bar called The Grocer at 15. They have a delicious menu of home made soups, toasties and ‘Ottolenghi’ style salads that keep us going through the day. In the evenings there is a wonderful Spanish restaurant in Old Amersham called Pluma. Their hospitality is warm & welcoming and their food, full of flavour.
If we buy ingredients they come from The Grocer at 91, the shop where we have our ‘pop’ up’ product display. They have locally baked artisan bread delivered every day along with fresh fruit and veg, cheese, charcuterie and a range of store cupboard items as well as a lovely organic Italian wine selection from local wine specialist Jackson & Seddon.
How have you been keeping during this time? Do you have any tips for small business owners?
We’ve both been kept busy with our other business commitments being fortunate enough to work for small companies who were able to be adaptable to the ongoing challenges that the pandemic presented. We’ve found that being small allowed us to be both creative and agile and that new opportunities have arisen as a result. We’ve also found that it’s the relationships we’ve built with our customers and suppliers that have helped keep us going and the sense of local community support was truly inspiring when things were tough.
Finding ourselves having to embrace change and therefore reflecting on our lifestyle, aims and ambitions definitely gave us the confidence to start our own business.
If not now then when, springs to mind and to date we’re delighted that we’ve taken the leap of faith to start something together.
For us running a small business is about being authentic and being appreciative of everyone who supports you - when the going gets tough it’s the people you’ve been kind to who will come to your aid.
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