After launching its first Good & Green health food store in East Grinstead in 2015, family-owned G&G Vitamins opened the doors to a second, flagship store in Tunbridge Wells on 27 May.
Store manager Helen Lang told NPN that ever since the first shop opened it was always on the cards to open another branch, but it was a question of finding the right location, which finally turned out to be on the High Street in Tunbridge Wells.
The new shop covers three storeys, with the health food store situated on the ground floor alongside Emilio’s takeaway – a coffee shop founded by Emilio Calcioli, a family member of G&G’s owners – and a relaxing coffee lounge situated on the first floor. The retailer has also taken the opportunity to move into gifting, with a small Good & Green gift shop sharing the first floor and a larger one filling the top storey.
The health food section of the premises is about three times the size of the East Grinstead branch, enabling the retailer to extend its offer. “It’s a lot bigger,” says Lang, “and we’re now selling fruit and veg, lovely local bread, Italian meats and cheeses, artisan pastas, health and beauty – it could be a one-stop shop.
“We’ve got our own-brand G&G Vitamins and also do Viridian and a couple of other well-known brands, so lots of vitamins, minerals and supplements. Then we’ve got really lovely skincare and make-up, Dr Hauschka, Inika, and a new British brand, Evolve Organic Beauty.”
As for priorities when stocking the shop, what’s most important, local, organic, sustainable? “It’s all of those,” explains Lang. “Any product I’m looking for has got to be organic or natural as far as possible. Food items have got to hit two of the three criteria of organic, gluten-free, vegan. I’m very particular about a product’s ingredients, it’s got to be very clean. We also try to be a little bit be different from all the H&Bs, so if it’s in there we try to find something more unique. We’re also trying to source more local products. So there are a lot of criteria – we’ve got to do a bit of research to see if it’s something we want to stock.”
The Tunbridge Wells store has been given a fresh new look which will be rolled out to East Grinstead. “We’ve changed our branding,” says Lang. “We’ve still got wooden shelving but our sign outside is now wooden, and we’ve got some beautiful wallpaper with a floral design with Good & Green Tunbridge Wells. This is going to be our flagship store. Once this one has taken off, the East Grinstead store will be revamped.”
Good & Green will be running its online shop from the Tunbridge Wells site. Having launched during COVID, the e-commerce store was temporarily closed while the new branch opened and the warehouse was transferred from Forest Row, but Lang hopes that everything should be up and running again by July.
The expansive size of the second shop means that Good & Green will be able to run workshops and events after hours using the lounge upstairs, which can accommodate around 20, and host make-up and skincare makeovers.