When Carole Taylor released her Kintore-based refillery plus zero-waste store she never expected to be paying more for her utility bills than her rent.
But that’s exactly what the 41-year-old owner of Sustainable Origins Kintore has been faced with.
Despite this the mum-of-two has been overwhelmed by the particular support associated with her customers since opening the doors in order to her new shop last month.
Ms Taylor first started the girl business venture The singer Made Refills in October 2019, making products in the kitchen at her Kintore home.
After outgrowing her house premises, she took on an industrial unit in Kintore where she produces a range of environmentally friendly household cleaning products.
Master of science Taylor, mum to Will, 10 and seven-year-old Alex, then decided to realise the girl dream plus open her own shop in the village, based in School Road.
Some products in short supply
Along with the cleaning items she makes, the store stocks a variety of food stuffs including lentils, pulses, different types of rice, pasta, flours, herbs and spices, salts, dried fruit, nuts, sweets, panko breadcrumbs, seeds, fresh bread and dog biscuits.
However the cost-of-living crisis has made sourcing some foods favoured by cost-conscious cooks more difficult as demand for less expensive ingredients has risen.
She said: “There’s a few things that are difficult to get hold associated with just now.
“Pudding rice and yellow split peas are two products.
“People are usually bulking out their dishes more along with a protein-based meat alternative because the particular cost of meat is so high.
“When it comes to pudding rice, people are producing their own rather than shop bought ready-made which is a lot more expensive.
“Red lentils are also very difficult to come by.
“We do try and get stock in through local little independent businesses in the north-east plus the north to try and help those. ”
‘Crazy’ electric prices
Before opening Ms Taylor and her husband Mark gave serious thought to the effects of rising energy prices.
She stated: “Electric prices are crazy. It’s so high.
“But it’s cold, it’s November. We have to put the heating upon and we have to have the particular lights on.
“And keep the electricity going through the night in order to power the fridges plus the freezers.
“It’s quite a challenge and we’ve not seen any government support for that yet.
“We’ve done our costing forecast for the initial year or two plus sadly had to include the higher energy utility costs in that will to make sure all of us can cover the bills.
“I was never expecting my utilities to cost as much as my rent. It’s crazy. ”
Despite just being open for almost 8 weeks the particular shop has been recently crowned Best Eco Friendly Business in Scotland at the Scotland’s Company Awards.
Master of science Taylor mentioned: “Owning the shop was a dream for the best part of a year.
“It continues to be going brilliantly. We’ve been really well supported by the particular locals within and around Kintore.
“We’ve been actually pleased and slightly confused at the amount of people coming inside who are ready to refill in tubs and jars.
“We are selling a lot more our own cleaning items, pulses plus lentils, natural herbs and spices or herbs.
“You buy just what you need because it’s not cost-effective to buy a big five kilo bag associated with something if you don’t use it before the expiry date.
“Dried fruits are popular for people making their very own Christmas cakes. ”