Rachel Beck

Owner,

Leafy Seadragon Refill Co

Rachel, along with her cousin Emily, owns a plastic free refill shop based in Hornsea. They offer a contactless grocery delivery service throughout Hull and East Yorkshire of products which are free from harmful chemicals and single use plastic packaging. They also have instore shopping at their store on Newbegin in Hornsea.

After watching programmes such as The Blue Planet and The War on Plastic, Rachel endeavoured to make changes to shop more sustainably and ethically, predominantly by trying to reduce her use of single use plastics. Sourcing products without single use plastic in East Yorkshire was a challenge, so in 2019, after a successful crowdfunding campaign, Rachel and Emily launched their business selling affordable eco-friendly plastic free products.

The original idea was to have a refill shop on wheels which would visit remote towns and villages across East Yorkshire offering plastic free refills of food, eco-friendly household cleaning products and toiletries.Just as the van was fitted out and the stock was piled up and ready to go, Covid19 hit.Due to lockdown restrictions the business idea was dead in the water.

With a van kitted out at the ready and a house full of flour, toilet roll and yeast, all of which was suddenly in demand, Rachel and Emily set about offering a contactless delivery service. Dried food was delivered in paper bags and cleaning products and toiletries in re-purposed containers.

Once the delivery service took off, Rachel and Emily were able to invest in re-usable containers thus eliminating all single use packaging from their delivery service. They now offer a circular delivery service with products delivered in a wooden crate and packaged in re-usable cloth bags, glass bottles and tubs which are returned to them for washing and re-use.Just like the old-fashioned milkman. The customer has no waste going in the bin and a warm feeling that they are doing their bit to help the planet.

The success of the delivery service enabled them to renovate a shop on the high street in Hornsea which opened in September 2021.They have since employed two members of staff.

Rachel’s background prior to opening a retail business was in administration, with extensive experience as a legal secretary and medical secretary.Although she thought setting up the business would move her away from admin roles, she has found this to be one of the most useful skills in running the business.

Rachel attended the FEO Ignition course which started just before lockdown and continued once the world started to open up again.The top two items she took away from the course were to ‘surround yourself with people who know more than you’ and have a ‘Sally Wray diary’.

Rachel has experience of running a successful crowdfunding campaign, obtaining a local authority grant and steering her business in a better direction when adversity struck.

She welcomes the opportunity to offer help and support to anyone toying with starting a small business and will continue to surround herself with other FEO members who really do know a lot more than she does.

If you need any further help or information please do not hesitate to get in touch - info@forentrepreneursonly.co.uk

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