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Jon from Conscience Foods – my business story

Conscience Foods (formerly G&D Free) in Keynsham is a recent addition to our business directory and our newest cashpoint. A health food shop and e-commerce site supplying organic, free from and vegan foods, dietary supplements and everything in between, it’s run by Jon Sherring and Helen Godfrey.

Jon shares his business story below.

How did you get started?
I originally set the business up as G&D Free in 2015 as my wife suffered from various different food intolerances. The G&D stood for gluten and dairy so we specialised specifically in free from products. This made us a haven for allergy and intolerance sufferers but over the years, as ever, the supermarkets have cottoned on to this and have squeezed this market away from us. Now my focus and the business’ has shifted somewhat towards local suppliers, organic produce and the vegan diet. It’s interesting now as although my wife still has some intolerances they are much reduced down to the use of supplements and a good quality, mainly plant based diet.

How did you find yourself in Bristol?
I am Cornish born, but lived in Shepton Mallet, Somerset, for the majority of my life, moved to Bristol in 2014 and loved it ever since!

What do you love about living and working here?
I love what everyone loves about Bristol, the originality, the welcoming feel, the community projects and the people. That’s why being in the industry is so rewarding as you come across likeminded people every day who have the same passion for local, organic and general health foods.

How do you keep your business going?
The first 18 months were incredibly difficult. I worked a second job for over a year whilst getting the shop moving. But this was my own fault for not having retail experience (yes a silly thing to do!) but bringing Helen on board who has loads of retail and sales experience has been great and we are now moving in the right direction.

What’s your favourite thing about running an independent business?
Meeting the great people who are happy to use your business and likewise happy to support you and your venture.

What are the challenges?
Time management and being productive. On quiet days it’s all too easy to mope around and not get on with anything else which needs doing!

What made you sign up to accept Bristol Pounds?
I am getting more and more involved with community projects and I understand the importance of shopping local and keeping money in the economy. This is taking that to the next level.

Where do you spend your Bristol Pounds?
Ours will likely be spent with Essential Trading [£B] but I am also on the lookout for some more interesting options – an SEO business, for example.

What are your favourite places in Bristol and why?
Better Food Company [£B] as they are a good successful model to shape my business on. My favourite bar in Bristol is Mud Dock [£B], I love the views over the harbour!

Where can we find you around the internet?
Our website and you can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Thank you Jon!

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