For the team at The Source Taupō, the newly opened store is about so much more than selling food and eco-household products. Part of a rising trend of climate-friendly options, The Source offers a completely waste-free shopping experience. Customers fill paper bags or reusable containers from bulk bins of product, choosing to buy as little or as much as they need. Choices range from the everyday, like almonds and washing powder, to the latest food health trends, including dried Inca berries and matcha powder. Each product is ethically sourced.
The Source is part of a fast-growing global franchise. For owners Ken and Fiona Harris, it’s an opportunity to own a business that supports their values. “We’d been looking around for a business with a sustainability focus” says Ken. “This is our first time as business owners, so we liked the idea of being part of a franchise business model. The Source was a great fit, as it offers customers genuinely planet-friendly food options. It also means we can talk with people in the store each day about the steps they are taking to reduce their impact” says Ken.
Prior to owning The Source, Ken worked for Icebreaker in their supply chain team. While at Icebreaker, Ken started an office sustainability team. “Every few months our team would host a movie night showing the latest sustainability documentaries. One of the documentaries featured an independent grocery store that had no plastic bags, no packaging, and lots of bulk bins. That’s when I decided I wanted to open something similar in New Zealand” says Ken.
At the time Ken and his family were living in Auckland, but wanted to move out of the city. They had always loved Taupō, and decided it would be a good place to start a new business. “It’s been a real learning curve for us and the process of getting the store ready for opening took a lot longer than expected. But people have been really supportive and encouraging” says Ken. “Once we opened the new store we really started to feel part of the community. The families at our kid’s swimming lessons are also our customers – I love that” says Ken.
Ken believes that tackling the challenge of sustainability is about taking small steps. “Just do one thing, get that right, then move on to the next thing. Don’t try to tackle everything at once as it can get overwhelming. We all need to do the little things to get the big changes to happen” says Ken.