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Former café owner opens ‘one-stop shop’ for sustainable goods in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 15:51 11 August 2020 | UPDATED: 19:14 11 August 2020

Elaine Reilly has opened Sustainability Station in Exchange Street in Norwich Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Elaine Reilly has opened Sustainability Station in Exchange Street in Norwich Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

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A former café owner has swapped serving coffees for selling sustainable goods at a new shop which has opened in Norwich.

Owner Elaine Reilly rents the premises from neighbouring hairdressers Savino & Coombes who recently took on the building Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANOwner Elaine Reilly rents the premises from neighbouring hairdressers Savino & Coombes who recently took on the building Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Elaine Reilly, 60, has opened Sustainability Station in 16 Exchange Street and she is already known in the city as she previously ran Mustard Coffee Bar in nearby Bridewell Alley with husband Gerard.

When the lease ran out for Mustard in April they decided not to renew and began looking for a new location, but instead of another café they went in a fresh direction.

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While they are continuing with the catering arm of the business, Mrs Reilly will now focus on the new shop, which sells eco-friendly products with a range of household goods, baby supplies and luxuries such as bags and scarves.

Sustainability Station offers home and baby products, alongside luxuries such as bags and scarves Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANSustainability Station offers home and baby products, alongside luxuries such as bags and scarves Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

She rents the space from neighbouring hairdressers Savino & Coombes who took on the building, including the upstairs space previously occupied by Bar Tapas, earlier this year.

Mrs Reilly said: “Sustainability Station is a one-stop shop with basic household products, such as toilet rolls and washing up bars, a range of accessories and beauty products and a large section for babies.

“I research every item to make sure it is eco-friendly and most things are recycled or have been reused in some shape or form - everything has to be sustainable for me to stock it.”

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Sustainability Station sells a range of eco-friendly products Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANSustainability Station sells a range of eco-friendly products Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Her passion for reducing waste came about three years ago when she set a New Year’s resolution to not buy anything new for 12 months, which she stuck to, and realised just how much a single household throws away.

Sustainability Station opened at the start of August, and it has had “great feedback” from customers.

Mrs Reilly added: “We made the decision before lockdown to change the nature of the family business to something worthwhile for the planet, but we weren’t able to pursue anything straight away due to the pandemic.

“There is a very intelligent and forward-thinking community in Norwich and it is the perfect place for it.”

Sustainability Station is located in 16 Exchange Street in Norwich Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMANSustainability Station is located in 16 Exchange Street in Norwich Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Sustainability Station is open from 10am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and closed Sundays.


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