Inspiration for The Severn Weigh - written by Na Smyth (founder)

Following a break from my business (Nooma Organics Natural Skincare) in 2017, I began to walk daily with our dog along the Severn Way at Oldbury on Severn. 

The tides had washed up a considerable amount of plastic debris along the shoreline and so as a family we began to clear some away each time we visited. 

These river walks gave me lots of thinking time; initially I felt challenged to curb our own family’s single-use plastic waste and then later questioning how we could help reduce plastic waste in our wider community. Alongside a good deal of research, a new business idea emerged - a heart felt mission to open a zero-waste / plastic free organic loose food shop, preferably within our home town Thornbury.

Although we had lots of other ideas, it seemed fitting to name the business venture ‘The Severn Weigh’ after our river walk inspiration, the ‘Severn Way’ -  hope you like the pun! Likewise, our goose logo, whilst not food related also refers to the river; inspired by a goose family that I used to look out for each morning! 

In 2018 I devised a questionnaire about the prospect of opening a zero waste shop and set up a facebook page @SevernWeigh and received a lot of positive feedback. However, after nearly a year of research, planning and securing funds, we were unable to find affordable local premises and then the whole Brexit issue loomed large - and so we reached an incredibly difficult decision to take a step back to rethink.

In 2019, I was invited to join forces with the Thornbury Organic Food Co-op and to help them to develop a wider range of bulk / package free foods alongside an overhaul of the cleaning products and toiletries. We felt pleased to be part of this, given that we were also committed to 'Plastic Free Thornbury' and “CATS” (Climate Action Thornbury & Surroundings) which are two groups concerned with reducing our town’s plastic intake and carbon footprint both from a personal and wider town perspective. 

Now 2020, and sadly COVID 19 is upon us, but The Severn Weigh finally opens a local store!

After the lock down, in order to reduce the risk of COVID contamination, the co-op founders decided that it was safest to work alone packing orders. Furthermore, unable to expand or take on new members, it became clear that there was need for an additional organic food business that was accessible to more people.

As small food shops closed their stores and began selling online or offering deliveries, this new possibility emerged for us - a click & collect organic whole food refill store.

After much searching for premises, we were really excited to discover a new building on a farm at Oldbury-on-Severn, making our 2 year wait seem worthwhile, given that this is where our inspiration for our business and its name originated! We loved the location and watching the swallows overhead in the field. And so we have finally opened The Severn Weigh! 

The Severn Weigh is a zero-waste grocery store based at Oldbury Naite, Oldbury-on-Severn, near Thornbury, offering organic loose whole foods, plastic free toiletries, personal and household items and liquid refills. We offer Click & Collect and a home delivery service to local residents and those living in the surrounding areas in South Gloucestershire with the postcode BS35, BS32, BS36, BS37, GL13.

We also welcome visitors to simply pop in with a shopping list and bring own containers to be filled (otherwise we can fill our paper or home compostable bags and glass jars). Beforehand, it is a good idea to look at the items online because browsing space is limited and cannot really do justice to the hundreds of products we have in store! 

Also feel free to give us a call 01454 419475 or message us via facebook https://www.facebook.com/SevernWeigh if you want to check if an item is in stock. You can also place a quick telephone order and pay by card / phone in store.  

Information on Click 'n' Collect HERE.               

We are a vegetarian family business with a commitment to ethical sourcing, vastly reducing waste, to omit single use plastics and essentially to promote sustainable living. Part of our goal is to work with local suppliers that fit with our ethics. 

The Severn Weigh, Oldbury Naite, Oldbury-on-Severn, South Gloucestershire, BS35 1RU.

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The Severn Weigh founders and owners are Naomi and Rod Smyth - both in their 50's with two adventurous teenage children plus two crazy but very loved hounds - our whippet Gracie and our rescue greyhound Woody.

  

The Severn Weigh: Mindful Shopping & Sustainable Living.