A new organic and eco friendly product shop has opened in Sherborne St John (From Basingstoke Gazette)
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A new organic and eco friendly product shop, Devlin Rhodes, has opened in Sherborne St John, at Dixon's Corner, just outside of Basingstoke
AMBITIOUS Tara Bowers has set a test to see if Basingstoke is ready for an organic food and eco-friendly products shop.
Having recently returned to Basingstoke after working in France for 10 years, where she ran an organic shop, Tara has set up her Devlin Rhodes business at The Old Bakery, on Dixon’s Corner, in Sherborne St John.
She said: “When I came back, I thought not much had changed in terms of what is available for organic food and eco products.
“Why is that? Is that because there is no demand in Basingstoke for organic food or is it that there hasn’t been anyone brave enough to try it?
“So I thought it would be a good idea to start a small shop and see what the demand was like and that is what we have created here – so this a test. If it works, we can either replicate it and have a couple of mini shops or have a bigger shop.”
That bigger shop is part of an exciting vision Tara shares with her business partners James Pryce and Gwen Petitpierre to create a hub for local and sustainable shopping.
She explained: “That bigger shop will be The Smart Future Centre – and the idea is that it will be basically a 21st century eco centre.
“The phrase eco centre I think has a very old image – it’s a bit hippy – but for us, 21st century sustainable living is more about making what we have got today more sustainable for the future.
“What we want to do is have a place where we can educate people to become a little bit more eco-friendly, because actually the scientists say we don’t have to make massive changes to remain sustainable, but we all have to make some change.”
Tara hopes to open the centre in a few years’ time and could see it perhaps located on a farm.
“Hopefully, there will be a restaurant, serving organic food, maybe an artisan baker or a place selling electric vehicles, or selling solar panels,” said Tara.
“We have pinpointed a triangle – Basingstoke, Andover and Winchester – as being the ideal place, but the more we look at it, we keep coming back to Basingstoke.”