A Small Good Thing – a beautifully apt name for this ethical greengrocers with a shop on Church Road in Bolton. I now potter over every few months to refill my bottle of laundry liquid and got to spend a lovely Saturday morning with the proprietors, Lisa and Emily, chatting and taking pictures. It was also the first Saturday of their Festive Market Extravaganza events this weekend too as an added bonus!
Emily and Lisa met around twelve years ago where they were both performing at an acoustic session organised by Emily’s now husband. A Small Good Thing isn’t their first time working together, Emily mentioned that they were toughened up by the experience of busking in Bolton for around a year! The business came about from researching our impact on our planet and what can be done to minimise it. Emily felt overwhelmed and decided to make changes one small step at a time, hence the name ‘A Small Good Thing’. One big part of their ethos is to keep plastic to an absolute minimum. Bring your own containers and fill them with what you need over and over again. You’ll also find that wherever possible the produce in the shop is organic, sustainably sourced, and local/produced in the UK.
The pair’s favourite part of running the shop is, of course, their customers. From light-hearted recipe swapping to in-depth debates about the environment, they love chatting to their customers and have learnt a great deal from them. However, setting up a new business and running a shop is incredibly hard work and often stressful. From this, and also leading on nicely from running a shop concerned with reducing environmental impact, Lisa and Emily plan to increase the amount of workshops they offer looking particularly at both mental and physical well being,
Apart from the friendly staff who immediately put you at ease, the shop itself is also a joy to visit. When you walk in you’re immediately greeted by the table of vivid jars of herbs and spices. When you continue to look round there are plenty more jars and containers of treats to spot holding various nuts, dried fruit and vegetables, grains, and cereals. The display of colourful and often rather impressively sized fruit and vegetables on the shelves make a wonderful display. If you’re around at lunchtime make sure you try their soup of the day. The seasonal recipe board is a great idea, I’m always looking for new ideas and loved that you could pick up the recipe and ingredients while you were there. The recipes on the board and the meal boxes are always fuss-free, they are meals that either Emily or Lisa enjoy cooking. They want to show you that you can eat seasonally with organic ingredients without it being costly.
If you have children with you there is usually an area in the back room where they can play while you shop, great for keeping them entertained and safe. This weekend however the area was full of other small business owners selling great locally made gifts perfect for Christmas.
Alison from Absolute Bobbins had her table covered with her fantastic bags, cushions, and purses. Claire from Ooh Crafty! had a range of beautiful Christmas eve boxes, trinket boxes, decorations, and reindeer food. Kim from Wild at HeArt had a selection of gorgeous t shirts, pyjamas, hats, and gift boxes. Each week in the lead up to Christmas there will be different vendors, some of the previous attendees may be back if you’re lucky!
You can find A Small Good Thing on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/smallgoodthingveg/