A Cornish woman has opened up her own store to help feed the poor by selling most items for just 25 pence.
20 year old Charlotte Danks from Newquay, launched the Bargain Brand Food store to give poorer people in the local community an alternative to food banks.
Most of her stock comes from the major chains that choose not to sell it due to manufacturing defects, such as damaged packaging or incorrect labels.
Western morning news reports:
The items stocked in Charlotte’s store, which include fresh meat, dairy, tinned foods and even hair dye, are coming to the end of their sell-by date, but are still well within their use-by date.
Most items sell for just 25 pence, with the most expensive being a two-litre tub of curry powder, at £2.50.
The shop has been so successful that Charlotte is now planning on opening two more in St Austell and Penzance.
Charlotte said: “Most of what we sell is stuff that’s coming up to it’s sell-by date, but that’s not the same as its expiry date.
“Everything is perfectly fine, but the supermarket has to get it off its shelves and it would otherwise end up straight in landfill.
“It’s really taken off. Hopefully in the next six months I’ll have another two shops, which I’m planning to open in St Austell and Penzance.
“We sell a mixture of things from tinned foods, to crisps, sweets, dried foods, fresh meat and dairy products, toiletries, hair dye, cat food – pretty much whatever I can get my hands on; it changes every week.
“I sell the majority of items for 25p. The most expensive thing in the shop costs £2.50, and that’s for a two-litre tub of curry powder.
“I’ve made a lot of friends, I didn’t realise how many people would use it, but we’re open to everyone.
“We’re different to a foodbank because people can choose what they want, and it’s all branded stock.
“Weekends are usually the busiest because people like to come after work, but we get our regulars who come in throughout the week.
“It’s just a case of trying to keep on top of everything, but there’s a high demand for what we sell and people want new things.”
Charlotte Danks says her ambition is to roll her discount store out nationwide, but says she has to travel out of her area to pick up stock as her local supermarkets refuse to deal with her.
She obtains all her stock from the major supermarkets, which alert her when they have stock nearing the end of its best-before date.
If she is interested, then Charlotte strikes a deal with them, before heading out in her second hand Ford Transit to pick up the items.
But Charlotte has to travel from her home in Newquay up to Exeter or Bristol as these are the nearest supermarkets that will deal with her.
She said: “The majority of the items I sell have gone past their best before date, but they are still good. I pick them up and sell them, otherwise they would just go to landfill.
“It’s all from their surplus stock, but we sell them cheap because a lot of people in the area don’t have money and are struggling, so I’m keeping them as cheap as possible so they are affordable for everybody.
“I want to help people in the community, people who are out of work, so they can eat as well.