A HUSBAND and wife team have toasted the launch of their latest venture and Northamptonshire's first permanent, fully packaging-free village shop in the most appropriate way - with local coffee in a recycled cup.
Lindsay and Navneet Singh opened Re in their home village of Flore last month, selling a wide range of dried foods, spices, coffee and cleaning products which customers can take home in their own containers.
The idea for their eco-friendly project was first conceived not long after they met ten years ago in Navneet's native India, where recycling has long been considered a valuable tool in protecting the environment, but it was recent trip north of the border that finally prompted them to take the plunge, as Lindsay explained: "When we lived in Amritsar, avoiding waste was a way of life, with fruit, veg and store cupboard items all bought loose, but we found that really hard to maintain when we when moved back to England because there's so much plastic and unnecessary wrapping on products that just don't need it.
"Earlier this year we were on holiday in Scotland and saw a shop doing something similar, so when the premises next door came up for sale just a few weeks later we saw it as serendipitous and decided to give it a go.
"We're by no means eco warriors but it's something we really believe in and if we can encourage others to make even the smallest changes in the way they shop, we can perhaps make a difference."
'Re' uses gravity bins to store its products - everything from rices to pulses, dried fruit and pastas - while many of the shelves are stocked with county produce including rapeseed oil on tap, coffee, cakes, bread, fruit and vegetables, not to mention a range of locally-sourced cleaning fluids, washing powders and floor cleaners.
Among the first customers to support the new venture was villager Heather Anderson who went home with an array of spices, filling her pots from the collection of colourful jars on display, while fellow Flore resident Helen Labraham popped by with her own cup to enjoy some tea and a slice of cake.
"It's been really exciting to follow this project over recent weeks and I'm absolutely thrilled that it's now open and I can finally start shopping," said Helen.
"The great thing about this place is that it stocks the kind of things you want to buy every week, so I shall definitely be ditching the supermarket and coming here on a regular basis, while quietly glowing because I know I'm doing my bit to save the planet too."
Re, on Flore's Sutton Street, is open Mondays to Saturdays from 9am to 5pm, with late night opening on Thursdays until 7pm.
For more information, visit and like Re on Facebook at www.facebook.com/live.low.waste