For store owner Hazel Lovie, bringing sustainable goods to the city of Aberdeen and filling a gap for local shoppers were the driving forces behind her latest venture.
A new grocery, refill and lifestyle store on Rosemount Place, called Rosemount Market, opened earlier this month and stocks a range of fresh, local products, including an extensive refillery offering seeds, cereals, rice, pasta and more.
Miss Lovie, from Rosemount, said: “The response so far has been amazing. Everyone has been so welcoming and the new store has been well received by customers and the other stores.
“It’s so nice to be in the community and I’ve found that all the all the stores on the street help each other out.
“A few people have commented on a green grocers that was in the area years ago that has since closed. It is similar to what we’re doing, so it’s nice to know we’re filling that gap for the locals.”
This business venture is Miss Lovie’s second in the city as she took over the health shop Nature’s Larder on Holburn Street in 2016. The store has been providing locals with wholefoods, vitamins and supplements for the past 40 years and also offers a range of sustainable options.
Miss Lovie added: “I felt we were in a groove with Nature’s Larder, but we didn’t have any space to grow. I wanted to expand into other areas and start offering new products and needed a brand new space to do that.
“I’ve always thought Rosemount is a great shopping street and saw a gap in the market for our new store.
Transforming the space
The 31-year-old had been setting up plans for the new sustainable store for a while when they were put on pause due to a rise in Covid cases.
When the store plans went back into action, there were a lot of renovation works to get done.
Miss Lovie said: “The location of the store was perfect but I wanted to strip it right back so it looked more traditional.
“I loved the look of the store front next door and then I wanted to continue the traditional style indoors, so we added wall paneling and lots of wood features.”
Despite starting a business during a pandemic, Miss Lovie said it was actually a good time to open a new store.
She added: “With restrictions easing, there are more people coming out to shop and wanting to support local businesses.
“Nature’s Larder has been open throughout the pandemic and we definitely learnt a lot. We’ve worked out the best way to keep everything under control and are more aware of what is needed in a store right now. We’ve even added a sink for customers to wash their hands.
“My family and friends have been really supportive. My fiancée was great with the legwork for the renovations and my mum helps a lot too, she finds all of the dried flowers that we sell in the store.”
Local and sustainable products
The array of items you can buy in the store is reflected through its name – Rosemount Market.
Fresh local produce, including fruits, vegetables and breads, are organic and sourced locally. Customers can also stock up on a range of products from the extensive refillery, from seeds and cereals, to rice and pasta.
The store stocks health and beauty products, cleaning supplies and stationary which are selected with their impact on the environment in mind.
Miss Lovie said: “We offer refills and everything is environmentally friendly and plastic free. I like to support small brands and other start-ups as much as possible, as well as local businesses.
“The stationary we stock is all made and designed in the UK and made from recycled materials. The store is sustainable and environmentally conscious, but we’re not compromising on design.”
The 31-year-old said her interest in health and wellbeing and realising what goes into foods also influences what is sold in the store.
She said: “We have lots of regular customers at Nature’s Larder, but I think some people are put off by a ‘health shop’.
“At Rosemount Market what we can sell is a lot less restricted. People can buy lots of different things in this area, and we’ve added good quality whole foods and essentials, with some special items too.”
Rosemount Market is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm.