Testimonial - Better Food Company
Tell us a bit about your business. E.g. When and how did you start off?
We have two shops and a café, selling organic, local and ethically sourced food and drink, bodycare, supplements and household goods. Our original shop (which we refer to as the Mother Ship) is in St Werburgh’s and first opened in 2002. The in-store café opened in 2005 and our newest shop opened in 2010 on Whiteladies Road. Our founder and company MD Phil Haughton is and always has been a staunch believer in organic farming methods as the only way to save us from ourselves and protect the world we’re intent on messing up.
When did you first hear about the Bristol Pound? When did you join?
Right at the start, several months before it was launched, and we knew then, even before there was much detail, that it was something we would be involved with.
Why did you get involved with the Bristol Pound?
We’re at the heart of independent retailing in Bristol, and go further than most to champion local causes. Anything that keeps local wealth and trade circulating locally and supporting local farmers, growers, producers and businesses is obviously something we want to be part of.
What’s TXT2PAY like?
We were initially a bit worried about using TXT2PAY as our St Werburgh’s shop has very poor mobile phone reception. However we have had very few problems and have been impressed at how quickly the texts come through, and how little time it actually takes at the tills. The Bristol Pound online account is very user friendly which makes checking payments and making refunds straightforward and quick. Staff have adapted to TXT2PAY very quickly and customers seem to love it. It’s also a good ‘toe in the water’ for how payments are likely to be made more generally in the future.
How have your Bristol Pounds been re-spent or where do you plan to re-spend them?
We spend all our Bristol Pounds online with one of our main suppliers, Essential Trading.
What’s the best thing that has happened for you and your business from joining?
I think the Bristol Pound logo has become symbolic of a wider movement in Bristol toward local independent trading. Accepting Bristol Pounds marks us out as a business with certain credentials that people identify with, even if they haven’t yet used the currency themselves.
What do you hope will happen as a result of Bristol people and businesses having their own currency?
I think it engenders local pride and a commitment to the way we choose to shop. Bristol is quite a maverick city, we’re a bit anti-establishment, and so it suits our spirited character. It won’t (obviously) take on sterling in a way that will threaten the Governor of the Bank of England, but it will keep money circulating locally and give the small guys a chance in an increasingly homogenised and global market place.
How do you help staff to make the most of your customers commitment to using £B?
We’ve had in-store sign ups and leaflets available, and we’ve trained our staff to make it as positive experience as possible for customers.
It’s your money! Is there anything else you’ve done or would like to help make happen with the £B project?
Phil’s had a Bristol Pound logo put on the back of his new electric car! Continue with in-store sign ups. I liked the Christmas loyalty card scheme – very easy for us to implement and nice incentives for customers to use local shops.