A big idea has been sounded to shoppers as one of the Petersfield’s most inspiring businesses faces the most difficult winter of all.
Refill and Replenish has been one of the town’s greatest commercial success stories of recent years, progressing from a market stall to a landmark building on the High Street.
But the latest chapter has taken a darker turn, with founder Laura Hayward admitting the shop is financially unviable as it grapples with increasing rent, energy bills and running costs.
Laura’s idea is to make R&R a community-led shop, largely staffed by volunteers.
The shop will be run by the community, for the community with profits being funnelled back into the business.
A place where you can shop sustainably, owned and operated by the people of Petersfield.
“We’re struggling and it’s not financially viable at the moment to carry on,” said Laura, shortly after sharing her Big Idea on the shop’s Facebook page.
“The only way I can see us moving forward, apart from closing the doors, is to transform it into a community-led shop.
“We would need to have a group of people that would be responsible for various roles in the shop, and a bigger group that would sign up for shifts. We’re looking for people to give us names and emails and we will engage with them and have an open meeting.”
The response so far has been encouraging with around 50 people getting in touch and an online meeting about to be scheduled.
Laura said that whatever happens, she is proud of her journey from a market stall to a bricks-and-mortar building and the community of re-fillers built over the last decade.
She said: “I deeply believe there is a future for R&R but it has to change quickly.”
If you like Laura’s Big Idea and want to know more either pop into the shop or email hello@refill andreplenish.co.uk