As so often happens in life, it was a coincidence that brought me to the door of The Weigh to Shop in Framwellgate Moor, Durham. My daughter’s dance teacher sadly decided not to continue lessons once restrictions eased again and her new tap and modern class meant I had a spare 45 minutes in the Framwellgate Moor area of Durham on a Saturday morning. A colleague at work had mentioned that she’d seen a refill shop in Fram (as the locals call it!), but I was never over that way to check it out. Well, here was my chance.
Husband and wife team, James and Sarah, were friendly and welcoming: happy to let me browse in peace and helpful and attentive when I needed them. On hearing where we lived, Sarah pointed out two black and white pictures proudly displayed by the door. They showed James’ grandfather, standing outside the old Co-op in our own village. He’d been the manager of the Co-op, so shop-keeping clearly ran in the family. Another coincidence!
It is clear that James and Sarah have put a lot of thought into sourcing the stock for their shop. The pasta is all British and organic. The baked goods are from local bakery Claypath Delicatessen. Other local suppliers include South Durham Honey, Acorn Dairy, Weardale Cheese, Durham Coffee and Colliery Soap.
Along one wall are all the household cleaning and toiletries refills and associated products, which include compostable cloths, sponges and bin/caddy liners, a range of brushes and scourers, dishwashing soap bars, eco friendly toilet rolls and kitchen towels.
On the opposite wall are the dried goods dispensers and bins. The Weigh to Shop stock a huge range of flours and baking ingredients, pasta, dried peas, beans, nuts and fruit, loose tea and coffee, and even a hot chocolate creation station!
At the rear of the shop is a lovely rustic, dresser-style unit housing all the herb and spice jars. In the centre of the shop you can find oils and vinegars, baked goods, preserves, personal care products and make up.
One of the things I loved about The Weigh to Shop was their transparency. As you can see from the photos, stock and packaging for recycling are housed above or below display units. This makes it easy to see how products have arrived at the shop and the type of packaging used by the companies James and Sarah choose to stock their shelves. I sometimes wonder when I visit refill shops just how much product packaging is squirrelled away out of sight. The Weigh to Shop is also a drop off point for some recycling schemes. I always think being able to see our rubbish makes us more aware of it and it’s great that customers can see all this in the shop and how it is being processed.
The Weigh to Shop was reasonably priced. I bought a couple of handmade face masks, some cloth pads to top up my collection, some cocoa, refilled my mixed spice jar and refilled my washing up liquid bottles and was pleasantly surprised at the price. You can find The Weigh to Shop on Facebook, Instagram and their website here.
This review was not paid for (financially or in kind) by The Weigh to Shop. It was an honest, independent review.