Reach out with refills
Duncan Murray Wines, Market Harborough
In a nutshell …
Businesses specialising in refill household and food stuffs are popping up all over the UK. Make friends with one in your neighbourhood to open your own concession. The rewards are plentiful.
Tell us more.
“Eco-Village is run by Beth and Beth. They contacted me in January last year and we met up at the site, which had previously been a plumbing supply place, and they told me their plans. For them it’s all about taking cans or bottles or jars to be refilled. I’d already had a chat with Moreno Wines and I thought their refillable bottles were perfect. First and foremost they are fantastic wines.”
Describe the range for us.
“We have limited space so everything has to really earn its place on our shelves and we are experimenting month by month to see what works.
“We offer the Sea Change wines – there are lots of bright ideas behind that range. For example, there is less glass per bottle and the labels are partly made out of grape waste. David Attenborough is a big fan of Sea Change and it’s ticked lots of boxes for Eco-Village.
“We also stock a locally produced gin and vodka, a few ciders and beers but the thing that works the best is the refill bottles. Customers can either buy a half-litre or a litre bottle and fill it up or they can bring a wellington boot as long as it’s marked on the side how much is going in. If you’re Cinderella, bring a glass slipper.”
Let’s talk about the money.
“You pay a commission of around 5% or 10% depending on what it is. Anything bar-related is a bit more, so for example we are doing a wine bar with them soon and because there is more margin, the commission to the Eco-Village will be 20%.
“What’s really nice is that it’s manned or womanned by other people who have stalls there. We use exactly the same price labels that we use in the shop which come off our EPoS system. All the information is on those labels such as the name of the product and they show the alcohol percentage plus a bit of blurb about it and what food it goes with. But if a customer needs more help, my shop is just a five-minute gentle stroll around the corner.”
It sounds like indie nirvana!
“The Eco-Village set up is fantastic. There is so much going on and it’s so nice to be part of it. Personally, I shop there all the time. It’s not just household stuff – they’ve just started selling refill Greek olive oil, which is amazing, and you can get toothpaste pills in a pot.
“I did an event there a couple of Saturdays ago and there’s a real community feel and a great vibe. People were sitting outside the café and enjoying their lunch and I was going over and offering them a free taste of wine and that worked really well.
“The website is brilliant too. They used a professional photographer and they put together all the copy about each of the concession holders.”
We noticed the Bearded Persian selling Kombucha and the Bearded Beekeepers with their honey and there you are with your marvellous moustaches. Do you need to have face furniture to fit in?
“The ladies don’t have any. But I might suggest they grow some!”
Duncan wins a WBC gift box containing some premium drinks and a box of chocolates.
Tell us about a bright idea that’s worked for you and you too could win a prize.