New refill store helps feed families during cost of living crisis

In a small town in Cumbria, an intriguing new shop has emerged, run by two women who are passionate about their community.

Friends Rebecca Stamper and Caroline Salheld made their mark in Wigton after finding a way to shop for food while saving money, reducing waste and making healthier choices. They came up with the idea after seeing the impact of the cost of living crisis on those around them.

They also wanted to reduce food waste, which could be better used elsewhere. And they’re hoping their refill store, ReCa – where customers walk in, weigh ingredients, and therefore only have to pay for what they absolutely need – could be the answer.

In the past, Rebecca and Caroline had visited a weigh shop in Penrith to buy ingredients in a bid to stop using plastic-wrapped supermarket produce, which was often wasted at the back of the fridge or in their closets. But they soon realized that the carbon footprint they made by making the 23-mile journey outweighed any good they were doing by trying to stick to zero waste.

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The couple’s first idea was to create a place where people could access sewing machines and make new clothes from old ones or repair children’s wooden toys, but they couldn’t find enough space. big. That’s when they came up with the idea of ​​opening their own refill store.

The shop, which is open in Wigton, kicks up regularly with many people interested in taking a look. The pair had plenty of people commenting that the concept reminded them of what it was like “back then.”

Rebecca said: “We started out talking about recycling and how we could do our part and thought about putting up sewing machines and letting people use them, but we didn’t have the space. We so we started thinking about a refill store, people can pick up what they can afford rather than buying boxes or plastic things that might end up going to waste.

“Nowadays people don’t make as much from scratch so buying a big bag of something could mean it stays and gets lost and people can’t afford to waste anything on it. It’s important to reduce waste, but it’s also about helping people save where they can.”

The couple have big plans even though they both have other jobs and have five kids between them, it’s a passion for both of them and hope they can help people learn how to cook meals that will help reduce costs.

“We’ve had a brilliant response so far and the store has been steady with people coming in and asking different questions. We have recipes for people to make things from what we have for sale.”

ReCa are based in the Hopes auction house in Wigton and they are currently open on Thursdays and Fridays. For more details visit here.

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