The owner of a plastic-free grocery store in Insch is encouraging people to shop locally as rising costs and a decline in customer trade takes their toll.
Lauren Brook, founder of the Butterfly Effect has spoken candidly about the struggles her business is facing amidst the cost-of-living crisis.
The multi-award winning zero waste shop, refillery and cafe, which also has a store in Banchory, became the first of its kind in the north-east promoting sustainable living and a reduction of single-use plastics.
In February, a £5,000 crowdfunding appeal was launched to fund the creation of a mobile shop for rural areas of Aberdeenshire.
Nine months on from her expansion plans, Lauren says they are struggling to make ends meet, citing rising energy bills and a reduction in trade as the culprits.
Founder of Butterfly Effect opens up about ‘difficult’ struggles
The businesswoman is encouraging people to shop locally to help keep independent businesses, like hers, afloat.
In a post, published on their Facebook page, she said independent traders are facing a “difficult time.”
She wrote: “In the ‘social media world’ you are advised never to show that your business is struggling – always portray you are smashing it.
“But we can’t pretend anymore…. our footfall has fallen massively. We are not ashamed to say this, but we are heartbroken that the current times we are living in are stopping small businesses like ours from thriving.
“It is a very difficult time for small independent businesses and Butterfly Effect is no exception.
“Everything has increased in price for us; huge energy prices, rent, wholesale prices (thank you Brexit) petrol and hugely reduced footfall is all taking its toll and we can’t keep the wolves from our door much longer.
“We know money is tight for everyone at the moment more than ever… but just spending a little in the small shops makes a huge difference to their trade.”
‘We really do hope we can survive this’
The post has led to an outpouring of community support, leaving Lauren hopeful for the future.
More than 680 people have commented and shared her post on Facebook, drumming up more custom for the Commerce Street business.
Speaking to The P&J, the businesswoman said: “Our place is still doing ok but we just didn’t want our sales to drop further, needed to let everyone know that little indie shops will close if they are not supported.
“We are only on day two since the post has gone out and we have seen a huge difference already which really does give us confidence for the future and that our customers can and will still support us.
“We were the very first zero waste shop in the north-east and have won numerous awards. We really do hope we can survive this.”