Small Business Saturday Blog

Weigh to go in Northwich

Tuesday, November 01, 2022 at 13:00

Kirsty Wernham runs Weigh of the World in Northwich, a sustainable-living shop that specialises in food and liquids refills, alongside plastic-free gifts and everyday items. The business helps people to shop in a way that reduces food waste and unnecessary packaging, and allows them to buy more ethically. Customers are encouraged to bring their own containers, which they can refill from the containers around the shop.
Kirsty was inspired to start her own business when she realised that her long commute to work was unsatisfying, and having visited some zero-waste shops, she knew it was something she could do. She found premises, secured the full Government Start-Up loan based on her business plan, and opened her doors in just three months, at the end of November 2019. By May 2021, she had expanded into the shop next door and taken on staff.
The main ethos of the business is about helping consumers to live a more sustainable life. It’s important to Kirsty that shoppers feel comfortable trying new things, and that they know that, for example, they don't have to become vegan or start campaigning about the environment in order to make a few changes and move towards more sustainable living. She told us, “We appreciate that our customers are all at different stages of the journey to reducing their footprint on the Earth, but they're all accepted.”
While the business hopes to support a healthier and less wasteful lifestyle, it’s also a relaxed place to come for conversation. Kirsty says, “We're interested in our customers and I've worked hard to make sure people know they can ask for help if they're struggling that day.”
She tries to ensure that food is fairly priced, and is honest about the products that they sell, sharing the pros and cons and how easy it is to change to things like shampoo bars or wax wraps. She also researches her suppliers to ensure that they have at least some understanding of reducing waste.
The shop has also actively worked with local environmentalist group, Transition Northwich. Last year, for example, they had excess apples and herb plants which Kirsty offered to customers for free so they wouldn't be wasted.
Kirsty has recently been trying some new ideas, such as baking cakes to sell in the shop and selling good quality pre-loved clothes, with plans to sell freshly made coffees and smoothies with a small seating area inside and a few seats outside the shop. She told us, “We don’t sell online, so rely on customers coming into the store. The Shop Small campaign run by American Express really helps incentivise Cardmembers to take advantage of it and look for small businesses local to them – like us!”
The shop also hosts weekly pop-ups for other local businesses, which encourages new customers for Weigh of the World but also helps to promote other small businesses with similar ethics. It’s win-win for everyone involved: the business doing the pop-up keeps all their sales revenue, and Kirsty’s customers benefit from additional choice in their ethical spending. Kirsty told us, “If we don't sell something that a customer wants, we'll always try to direct them to a local business that can help.”
Visit Weigh of the World at 90-92 Witton Street, Northwich CW9 5AE or online here. Click here to find out more about the American Express Shop Small campaign.


Latest Posts: