Tagged as a ‘sustainable supermarket for the thoughtful people of Brighton’, Kindly of Brighton is one of the newest retailers to open in the city.
After running a successful web development agency, but feeling he could ‘do more’, Owais Amiri (pictured) launched the store in the Seven Dials area in November along with friend Shiv Misra. Describing Kindly of Brighton as a sustainable supermarket rather than a health food shop, he explains: “We’d like to believe we are the 2020 answer to the traditional supermarkets that are driven by profit before planet.”
And Kindly certainly has a lot to offer. The entirely plant-based stock includes over 1,000 items that can be bought plastic-free, including rice, pasta, seeds, nuts, cereals, and herbs and spices; a range of all-organic fresh fruit and veg; and an extensive range of fresh and chilled vegan cheeses and mock meats.
I believe I need to make my supermarket accessible to the masses. Organic, local and sustainable doesn’t always have to be expensive
When it comes to choosing what to put on shelf, local and organic produce is paramount to Amiri. “Our food choices impact climate change – that’s a fact. Local is very important to me. Wherever possible, I impart the source of a product so people know where it comes from. I also communicate whether a vegetable is out of season and hence hard to source. Over 90% of our products are organic — it’s kinder to the planet and ecosystem.”
As an independent retailer, he believes the store can take on the supermarket chains head-on in terms of depth of offer, while in addition providing traceability where possible. “We are more thoughtful in our approach to picking products and suppliers. When was the last time you picked up a tub of hummus from Tesco and knew who made it and where? Ours comes from a small business operating out of the Open Market. We tell our customers who we work with, how and why through small signs located around the shop.”
If Amiri is aiming to compete with the big boys, how is this reflected in his pricing policy? “Simple really. I believe I need to make my supermarket accessible to the masses. Organic, local and sustainable doesn’t always have to be expensive. I think we compare really well with major supermarkets on our staples and items that aren’t dependent on season. Just yesterday a lady told me she paid more for her can of coconut milk in Waitrose.
“Where we can achieve economies of scale by buying in bulk, we pass that discount right on to our customers. But if one week our peppers are coming from a different farm and are in short supply, driving the price up, we communicate that to our customers too and adjust the price for that week.”
Following what he describes as a fantastic first few months, Amiri says he’d love to open a Kindly next to every supermarket chain. “One day! For now, I want to enjoy serving the residents of Seven Dials and across Brighton.”