How have customers reacted to your Tap & Share device?
We are very lucky because some of our customers donate things, like plants for example. We then offer these to other customers, who are very keen to support charities, for a donation. We want to utilise our business to do good things, such as supporting food banks and planting trees, and Tap & Share is a really easy way to generate donations off the back of people's good will.
Personal difficulties during the lockdown were definitely related to not having any contact with the people we are close to. We also missed things like getting away camping and hiking; we've always known that fresh air nature helps to maintain our mental wellbeing, so not being able to be out in the hills had had a negative impact.We also found it difficult to hear about the many people who ended up losing their jobs because of the lockdowns. We ended up employing a few people, but unfortunately there are many others out there.
We have around 700 products in our shop, so choosing just a few is not easy. But if we must, we would like people to know about our small independent suppliers - we work with a few independent businesses as well as charities. You can buy a poetry book written by Danny Collins, who used to be homeless, or a photography/drawing book by local artists.
We have beautiful jewellery, handmade cards, crochet bags, tasty cakes, vegan chocolates, or amazing bread made by local residents. In the autumn we'll be bringing back samosas, bhajis and doughnuts, which usually go down well. We sell funky backpacks made from recycled materials by Crackpacks or useful fabric items made by Mary Makes.
Our organic and ethically sourced cashew nuts from Goa are a consistent high seller as well as all breakfasts, rice and snacks. We are so thankful for the continued support of host partners like Lentils and Lather. With their help we can continue raising funds for the charities fighting against food poverty every day.