In Conversation with The Refill Room
Zero Waste Store in Leigh-on-Sea


At Cup of Tea, we are always looking to promote the benefits of loose-leaf tea and look for ways to reduce our use of single-use plastics at the same time.
We have partnered with over thirty zero waste stores up and down the country (with numbers growing) so that more of us can drink better and more ethical loose leaf tea!

As a result, we've been getting to know our zero waste store partners better, speaking about their inspiration behind opening their zero waste stores, what it means to them and their communities and how we can do more.

Here, we chat to Gemma Deeney, owner of The Refill Room in sunny Leigh-on-Sea about educating the community and how a little idea sparked an entirely new life philosophy.



CoT: Tell us about how The Refill Room store came about?
GD: My family and I wanted to make changes at home. We tried to eat more organically, reduce the amount of plastic we were using and lessen our waste in general. However, it was tricky to do when there was not a lot of options locally to us. We stumbled across Earth.Food.Love in Totnes, visited their shop and thought, we need to do this in our home town Leigh-on-Sea!

CoT: What is your motivation behind zero-waste?
GD: Our motivation is to live a simple life, to live cleaner and healthier and to spread awareness and help save our planet.

CoT: What did you do before?
GD: I was a Primary School Teacher and spent the last couple of years teaching the children about single-use plastics and their effect on our planet… they’ll be the ones inheriting this world!



CoT: Tell us about your best-sellers? What are your customers after?
GD: Our best sellers are metal straws, nut butters and local honey.

CoT: Do you have any advice for people who are looking to reduce their use of plastics at home? Where can they start?
GD: Start small; take it step-by-step. You could reduce the plastic in your home by concentrating on one room at a time. Gradually the small changes you make will lead to more significant changes.

CoT: Are you seeing any new trends in the green movement at the moment?
GD: There are lots of independent zero waste shops opening up around the UK. I think people are beginning to become more aware of the problems facing our environment and they want to do something about it.



CoT: Do you think that zero-waste shops are making a positive impact on the high street and in the community?
GD: Zero Waste shops are definitely making a positive impact in the community. It brings people together and makes people think about the waste we are creating and how it’s affecting our planet.

CoT: From where and how do you source your products?
GD: We source from many places in the UK and get most of our organic foods from Infinity Brighton. Our honey and rapeseed oil is local to us.

CoT: Are there any green heroes that inspire you?
GD: Absolutely! David Attenborough, Chris Packham and Greta Thunberg.



CoT: How do you rate tea amongst your products? Is it popular? What are people after?
GD: We love our Organic Loose Tea at The Refill Room, and so do our customers. I think our most popular tea would have to be Nana Mint & Night Cap. However, every flavour is loved.

CoT: Have you had any feedback from your customers about the teas you stock from us?
GD: We’ve had lots of positive feedback about our tea. How wonderful it smells, how fresh it tastes, and how different it tastes from tea bags.

CoT: Do you get repetitive business through your tea offerings?
GD: Yes, we have lots of regular customers coming back for their Organic Loose Leaf Tea.


Posted by cup of tea admin
20th June 2019

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