GreenKeepers opened it’s doors on 26th September 2020 making Vicky Parker’s dream a very welcome reality. Vicky along with her husband Neil and childhood best friend Donna are providing Consett with it’s first Eco Home and Refill Store.

Vicky and her family had been trying to reduce single use plastics at home for some time and noticed that the recycling bin was constantly filling up with cleaning containers, despite their best efforts. This made her think seriously about change. Already familiar with using refill stores she thought having one close to home would be ideal, as it was sometimes inconvenient having to travel quite a distance to use them.

With this in mind Vicky, who had been swapping her shampoo bottles for a bar while travelling was making considerate choices with her beauty products.
Vicky, in her own words said,

‘I wanted to open a store which would make refill shopping easier for the people of Consett but I didn’t quite have the confidence to take that leap, or the time, since both myself and Neil worked full time.’

As Lockdown began, even though Neil continued to work full time in food production, Vicky’s work as a dental hygienist ceased overnight.

Vicky seized this as an opportunity to research and plan, believing that she now had the time to invest in making her dream come true. She spent countless hours sourcing suppliers and once this was done started looking for a location; which is a challenge for anyone in the best of times, as we were in a pandemic.

Vicky, her husband, family and friends felt that luck had turned their way when a unit became free in Gladstone House in Consett, and with the help of two exceptionally supportive landlords, GreenKeepers was born!

Starting with a range of just 50 products, they soon reached the 300 mark and are still growing. They have a wide variety of popular refillable items, from household cleaning to hair and body care, also deodorants and much much more.

There is an option to bring your own containers or buy the beautiful glass bottles on sale to use again and again.

There are dried foods & spices available and the most delicious coffee beans, which they will grind to your own specification – my favourite being the Costa Rica blend. It’s also a great place to stock up on store cupboard essentials. Vicky and her team are also proud to include goods from many local producers.

She stated,

‘The feedback and support we have received from the local community has been amazing, it’s really blown us away.’

Furthermore they have recently been granted a licence to have seating outside, so after shopping, customers can relax outside with a coffee – remember to bring your own cup – catch up with friends and watch the world go by.

A final word from Vicky,

‘So many people have really taken this way of shopping into their hearts, we are so grateful to each and every one of them.’

I would highly recommend a visit to GreenKeepers, it’s packed full of delights and has provided Consett with just what it needs. It seems that dreams really can come true. So I’d like to wish GreenKeepers a very Happy 1st Birthday.


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