One of the great things about central Exeter, are the characterful neighbourhood pockets that are so distinctive and really break up the big city commercialism. So, if you are visiting Exeter and want to feel part of the community for a day or perhaps for a season, where better to stop off for supplies than the amazing Zero Exeter store on Fore Street?
Zero Exeter is one of those great shops that you chance upon, enter and find yourself bombarded with so many interesting things that all you can do is wander around dazed the first few times. Believe me it will take repeated visits to get your bearing and decide on all the different things you want to try.
Firstly there is the overwhelming of the senses with the pungent aroma of a variety of soap and shampoo bars as you enter the stores. Then you are hit with the colours, shapes and sizes of their remarkable inventory of fresh and dried produce, pantry and dried goods arranged in all sorts of jars, pots and curious stainless steel urns.
By now you are probably wondering just what exactly is Zero Exeter?
Zero Exeter is Exeter’s zero waste supermarket and plastic-free lifestyle shop. If the term zero waste has you tipping your bifocals, or thinking about the days when nan would make you eat all your liver and onions, it basically means sending none of what you purchase in the store to the landfill, but consuming and reusing everything and anything possible.
Zero waste shopping at Zero Exeter
For some it is a way of life but for most of the customers at Zero Exeter it is good old common sense and makes for a very satisfying retail experience. The ground rules at Zero waste is that the products they sell are going to be 100% packaging free, save for some paper bags which are obviously compostable. You are strongly encouraged to bring your own packaging and refill bottles and tupperware with their foods, body care and household items.
Zero Exeter is the labour of love of Ernoesto and Faye Mosquera and their children
I love the fact that Zero Exeter is a family run business and when you visit their store you can see just how much of themselves they have invested in it. Alongside starting a beautiful family Ernoesto and Faye have worked hard to build their store from scratch, funding the startup through working other jobs. They have done an amazing job, fitting the entire store with reclaimed and recycled items themselves.
Zero Exeter is probably the only place in the city where you can literally spend a penny!
Apart from a few packaged or solid items, everything in Zero Exeter is sold by weight. You can buy as much or as little as you want right down to a 1p spend! 👛
For example I finally got round to trying their celery salt which is about 12p per 100g. I only wanted a little and was shocked at only having to spend 18p. If you live alone or just want small amounts of ingredients for specific recipes this is great! You will have to try hard to tip the scales ⚖️ there and satisfyingly, it is very very difficult to go over budget.
What can you buy at Zero Exter?
You will be able to tick off most things on your shopping list with a visit to Zero Exeter, Tupperware in hand. The stock of this intriguing store includes:
Spices: grab chili flakes, nutmeg, pimento and more
Nuts🥜: snack on flakes almonds or grind your own peanut butter!
Dried fruit🍎🍒: apricots, prunes, and raisins are available
Grains🍚: quinoa, rice, and couscous by weight
Pulses: chickpeas, kidney beans,
Cereals🥣: by the bowl of you prefer
Pasta: including gluten-free varieties
Flour🍞: spelt, wholegrain and pasta flour
Oils🌻: rich smoked rapeseed oil and olive oil
Seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables🍓🌽🥕: and anything that doesn’t sell is given away for free
Cleaning products 💦: laundry detergent and washing up liquid top-ups
Health and Beauty products🚿: shampoo and shaving bars
Homewares🏠: all sorts of refillables and reusables including wax wrapping paper for your sarnies
A quick review of some of my favorite purchases:
Shea butter, Coconut oil, Aloe Vera
For families like mine who have natural afro hair, this shop is a must. Shea butter, Aloe Vera and coconut oil are perfect for moisturising, nourishing and sealing tresses and at Zero Exeter, I can buy as much or as little as I want.
This is an incredibly moreish purchase which makes a rich and nutty lunch combined with garlic, red onion, tomatoes and mushrooms. I have not found this anywhere else!
Corn flour and meal
I am having to restrain myself from buying this and gorging on hot fresh cornbread with lashings of Devon butter. The ground cornmeal is also great for making crusty homemade pizzas!
Zero Exeter is always worth a visit when you are in town
This shop really makes me want to live in Exeter as it is the pantry I always dreamed of having, full of interesting jars and pungent spices! I have just heard that they have opened a second Zero store in Exmouth which I am sure will be very successful. The Zero team also does e-commerce and local deliveries if you cannot make it to the store.
Well done to the Mosqueras! 👏👏👏
Address: 127 Fore St, Exeter EX4 3JQ
Opening hours: 09:30 to 18:00 Monday to Saturday 11:00 to 16:00 Sunday