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February 23, 2024 —

Small Business Stories: The Good Lyfe

The desire to offer convenient, sustainable shopping that challenged the norm led Laura Peters to open The Good Lyfe, a small plastic-free grocery & lifestyle store in the heart of Newquay and online
Small Business Stories - The Good Lyfe refill and sustainable lifestyle store
Small Business Stories - The Good Lyfe refill and sustainable lifestyle store

*Disclaimer: This blog post has been sponsored by the brand, but the content has been independently created by the 91 Magazine team. We only work with brands whose ethos is in line with our own and we believe will be of interest to our readers.

A sponsored advertorial with
The Good Lyfe

91 Magazine editor Caroline Rowland
Caroline Rowland
Editor,
91 Magazine

Photography

Georgia de Lotz
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When Laura Peters started to find supermarket shopping extremely stressful, she knew something wasn’t right. She now realises that what she was experiencing was eco-anxiety and this was the catalyst that launched her life in a new direction. Recalling those days she says “I was frustrated that supermarkets penalised customers for buying smaller amounts by charging more; that anything organic was wrapped in plastic; that brands like Ecover and Method were bought out by SC Johnson but were still duping customers into thinking they were an eco-alternative. It was a tough time!”

Small Business Stories - The Good Lyfe refill and sustainable lifestyle store

Making refill shopping convenient

After finding herself in tears in Sainsburys three times in one week, it was her friend Jaime who encouraged her to create a shop that was the antithesis of these major supermarkets, and in fact, the friends decided to do it together. Laura and Jaime opened The Good Lyfe in Newquay’s Fore Street in November 2018 – a refill store, offering not just food, but a wide range of plastic free and sustainable everyday items.

The pair hit the ground running, and the store was open 9am-6pm, 7 days a week from the start. As Laura and Jaime were both juggling their new venture with motherhood, this was a huge commitment, but there was method in their madness explains Laura: “It was really important to us that the shop offered convenience for our customers – when you’re trying to persuade people to step away from supermarkets and online shopping, you’ve really got to put in the hours.” So, with passion driving them forward, they made it work, alternating who looked after the shop, while the other picked up all of their children from school.Small Business Stories - The Good Lyfe refill and sustainable lifestyle store Small Business Stories - The Good Lyfe refill and sustainable lifestyle store

Careful curation for sustainability

While the shop space is small (approx. 340 sq. ft), Laura has managed to pack in a vast array of products, with their refill stations being central to their offering. There is so much more to explore though, with the provision of sustainable alternatives to many household items, as well as gifts, books, stationery, skincare, jewellery and candles. Laura is strict on her buying criteria and says, “It must be plastic free – but it should also tick as many other boxes as possible; organic, made in the UK, small independent brand, non-toxic inks,” and she truly loves discovering new brands to stock,  “They tend to be local or female-owned or the best in the business (and sometimes, all three).”

It has taken time and experience to perfect her curation of goods, and she recalls how her first order of chia seeds, while purchased from an ethical worker’s co-operative, turned out to be wrapped in plastic and had travelled from Ecuador. “I now buy UK-grown chia seeds in paper sacks from a much smaller brand, and I have a much better idea of the supply chain – I know they’re passionate about things like biodiversity which really matters to me.”Small Business Stories - The Good Lyfe refill and sustainable lifestyle store Small Business Stories - The Good Lyfe refill and sustainable lifestyle store Small Business Stories - The Good Lyfe refill and sustainable lifestyle store Small Business Stories - The Good Lyfe refill and sustainable lifestyle store

Open, honest and mindful retail

It’s clear Laura has a passion for the finer details of a products origin and the processes involved. The general population might not know that the larger supermarkets source olive oil from producers who vacuum the olives from the trees, taking the tiny roosting birds with them. Laura has opted to buy her olive oil from Honest Toil, a small producer who use traditional methods for harvesting olives.

Even after over five years in business, Laura’s love of it has not waned: “I feel as excited walking through the door today as I did on the first day (without the anxiety!). Getting to meet and chat to customers is my favourite thing about owning a shop,” she beams. She believes that the space allows for conversation and the chance to discuss and educate others about sustainability, “Instead of mindlessly filling a basket with packaged food, shopping this way encourages conversation and interaction,” describes Laura, “I think that’s what’s been missing from so many of our lives.”Small Business Stories - The Good Lyfe refill and sustainable lifestyle store Small Business Stories - The Good Lyfe refill and sustainable lifestyle store Small Business Stories - The Good Lyfe refill and sustainable lifestyle store

Of course, it’s not always been plain-sailing, and the arrival of Covid-19 presented them with their biggest challenge to date. Being a food retailer, they were allowed to stay open, adjusting opening times and processes, and swiftly creating a website so customers could click and collect, but of course, with young children at home, both Laura and Jaime had to factor in home schooling too. Luckily, they weathered the storm, “We were mums on a mission!” laughs Laura.

In the summer of 2022, Jaime decided to leave the business, although the pair remain very good friends. Today, Laura now runs the store with the help of a small team of two, who are equally as passionate about the protection of the environment. As we settle in to a new year, Laura is excited about what’s in store for 2024, “I’m in the process of creating a range of recipe cards and meal kits to be released later this year and we’re hosting more workshops with Vesta Living, making beeswax candles and eye pillows.” It seems Laura’s mission is clear: to create a better future for our planet, while bringing together communities to live slower, kinder and more conscious lives.

Pictured is a selection of items from The Good Lyfe’s range of refill goods and lifestyle products. To view their full range visit thegoodlyfe.co.uk or visit them in store at 9 Fore Street, Newquay, Cornwall, TR7 1HB

Follow The Good Lyfe on Instagram at: @thegoodlyfe.nqy

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*Disclaimer: This blog post has been sponsored by the brand, but the content has been independently created by the 91 Magazine team. We only work with brands whose ethos is in line with our own and we believe will be of interest to our readers.

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