See inside the new plastic-free store and coffee bar in Harton Village - complete with its own peanut butter machine

A South Shields dad has opened an eco-friendly store in Harton Village where customers can shop without the need for single use plastics.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 12:30 pm

Zilch Weigh House officially opened on Monday, April 12, in the former ‘The Cake Place’ unit on Sunderland Road, as lockdown restrictions were finally eased.

The shop, which takes its name from the idea of ‘zero waste,’ gives customers the chance to cut down on their use of plastics by using refillable containers and recyclable bags to stock up on their groceries.

It even has its own peanut butter machine which has been proving a hit with shoppers, and sells the likes of shampoo and fabric conditioner from pump dispensers.

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Zilch Weigh House owner Andrew Quinn (right) with staff (left to right) Siobhan Bailey, Helen Eltringham and Alex Avery.

Andrew Quinn, from Harton, decided to launch the store to create a sustainable way of shopping after becoming sick of seeing his blue recycling bin fill up with plastic.

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On his first day of trade Andrew, 36, said: “It was really good.

"We even had a queue down the street at one point for a couple of hours.

The store uses refillable containers and jars to stock its produce.

"People are so pleased to have the shop in the community.

"Sales were really good, some people were used to the process and had containers ready, while some people were new and were talked through the process.

"It was a really positive day.”

As well as a range of dried foods and spices, Zilch Weigh House has also teamed up with zero waste store, The Paddock in Prudhoe, to sell fruit and vegetable boxes.

Inside Zilch Weigh House customers will use refillable containers and recyclable bags to stock up on their groceries.

Takeaway coffee is also on offer, with customers asked to bring a reusable up or buy a compostable cup from the store.

The store is Andrew’s first business venture, having worked as an NHS project manager for 15 years, a job he will continue alongside his business.

Andrew added: “We had more than 100 people through the doors over the course of the first day so we did well and we’re really pleased.”

The peanut butter machine inside the store is sure to be a hit.

Zilch Weigh House will be open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 5pm and Sunday from 10am to 2pm.

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Jars of spices inside Zilch Weigh House.
Sustainable shopping at Zilch Weigh House.
Andrew Quinn outside his shop Zilch Weigh House on Sunderland Road, South Shields.