A new grocery store will soon open next to the Cauldron in St Werburgh’s.
Chaya Veggies will sell “healthy, affordable food for all” from a refurbished corner shop on Mina Road.
Co-owned by two friends, Martin and Tom Genge, they are launching the fruit and vegetable store to bring something “positive and healthy” to the area.
“As eco-conscious, green-fingered individuals, we felt the need for a grocery store in the area,” says Tom, who works in nightclubs and coordinates festivals.
“In our eyes a good greengrocer is the part of pulse of a local community – and not just because of the lentils.”
The 29-year-olds “stumbled” across the dilapidated store, nestled between the Cauldron, one of the area’s most acclaimed restaurants, and a billboard currently home to one of Brandalism’s climate change artworks.
“It all just seemed to happen organically from there,” Tom adds. “We’re passionate about healthy food and local produce – such is the essence of St Werburgh’s – and want to make that affordable for everyone in the community.”
The pair hope to employ local staff in the store have almost all of the produce sold in store grown in Bristol by June 2021.
Chaya Veggies will not only sell fresh fruit and vegetables, but flowers, houseplants and cupboard essentials too.
Tom and Martin, who works as an aerospace engineer, are currently finishing the store and hope to open before the end of 2020.
“We’re really looking forward to opening the shop and getting to meet, greet and learn from our community,” says Tom. “St Werburgh’s is a such a creative and collaborative community and we can’t wait to grow together within it.”
Main photo: Tom Genge