A Broughty Ferry zero waste shop has seen its sales surge during the Covid-19 pandemic as it started a UK-wide delivery service.
Love Your Planet, which launched in Brook Street less than a year ago, has seen its sales rise 22% since March.
The sustainable food store – with over 75 dispensers filled with essential items such as pasta, rice, flour and pulses – is on a mission to reduce packaging and food waste.
As the Covid-19 pandemic hit and after seeking advice from Business Gateway, owner Debbie Gallacher, decided to keep the shop open to serve the local community.
Ms Gallacher recalled: “It was sink or swim, so we quickly adapted our business to meet the demand and – most importantly, help our customers.”
Business Gateway also provided advice on funding, HR and marketing during this period and helped the business to launch a new website to enable click and collect orders.
Love Your Planet introduced a three-person limit in store and installed additional hand sanitisation stations.
Sales of dew disinfectant and hand sanitisers rose by 253%, while dry good sales increased by 68% when compared to the previous quarter.
Ms Johnston’s daughter Caragh was made redundant from her job as a call centre representative and has been employed on a full-time contract to operate and expand the delivery side of Love Your Planet.
This initially served the local area but last month was extended UK-wide.
“Now we’re even stretching as far as London. It is awful that my daughter’s work situation had been compromised because of the pandemic, but we are fortunate that she has been able to support the family business during these challenging times.
“We have been able to help keep customers stocked up with essential items that have been difficult to source from many large supermarkets.
“We have also published our first newsletter which offers advice for reducing plastic.
“In the first edition we show how easy it is to grow your own herb garden using toilet roll tubes or eggshells, therefore reducing the amount of plastic in the home.”
Stuart Milne, a business adviser at Business Gateway Tayside, said he was pleased to see the business take steps to mitigate the impact of Covid-19.
He said: “By adapting her business model and finding new ways to communicate and supply customers during these times of hardship, Debbie and the team at Love Your Planet are managing to effectively mitigate the effects of Covid-19.
“Our next step is to work with the company on a social media strategy to reach more customers through the newly introduced online delivery service.
“As the country continues to adapt to the effects of Covid-19, Business Gateway is committed to providing support to SMEs who are navigating the uncertainty of the pandemic.
“Whether you are starting up, diversifying, or growing your business, Business Gateway Tayside is on hand to help across the region, and beyond.”