Eco-friendly delivery service sets up shop in Romford

Pantry Shelf, Romford pop-up

Founder of Pantry Shelf Sarah Vargerson said she will use the time in the pop-up shop to make 'plans for moving the business forward' - Credit: Pantry Shelf

An eco-friendly grocery delivery service has been welcoming customers from its temporary pop-up shop in Romford. 

Pantry Shelf, founded by Hornchurch-based Sarah Vargerson, set up its first in-person shop in The Liberty Shopping Centre at the start of April. 

It encourages shoppers to make eco-friendly choices by offering loose groceries to be taken away in reusable containers.

The sustainable brand is utilising the unit - previously home to Ernest Jones - until May 20.  

Mum-of-two Sarah said she is “very grateful” to the centre’s management team for their “ongoing support and enthusiasm for bringing new shopping concepts to the local area”.  

She said having the shop space to meet customers face-to-face is "invaluable” as it offers the chance to “learn and develop”.  

There has been a range of customers through the doors so far, Sarah said, including those who have “eagerly” been awaiting more local eco-friendly choices.  

Sarah added that she has “worked hard” to provide a shopping environment that is “welcoming to all”.  

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Saturday mornings have proved busy for the brand and Sarah said there is a “flurry of activity” to enjoy fresh sourdough breads, locally pressed juices, freshly ground coffees and pastries.  

Pantry Shelf

Sarah working away in the Pantry Shelf pop-up shop in The Liberty Shopping Centre - Credit: Pantry Shelf

Pantry Shelf's zero-waste meal jars - made up of dried ingredients for a meal for two in a reusable jar - have also received a “great reaction”. 

She has been “very impressed with customers who are already making great efforts to reduce their household waste” by bringing their own containers to fill with loose groceries.

“We have been humbled to be able to support customers on fixed budgets who have been able to buy just the right amount of ingredients for their weekly recipes.”   

The pop-up shop is also working alongside other small Havering businesses to host events “with similar values”, said Sarah.   

These include yoga, coffee tasting and storytelling for kids. 

Dates for these events are displayed on a large calendar in store.  

In the future, Sarah aims to further reduce packaging, expand delivery further than the Havering and Brentwood addresses currently served and “improve” the product range.  

Weekly deliveries will continue while the Pantry Shelf pop-up shop is open.