Fodder in Hereford has moved its bodycare offer into a brand new second store, just yards across the road from the original shop, which now focuses purely on groceries.
“Fodder has been here since 1978, but this is the first shop we’ve actually opened,” co-owner and manager Mark Hubbard told NPN. “We have essentially moved our bodycare department across the road. And it’s beautiful. It’s been massively extended – we’ve quadrupled our ranges and we’re stocking a vast number of new products. We have the entire ranges of three local skilled makers of bodycare products, as well as Herbfarmacy, so a lot of local producers are represented in prime spots in the shop. And then we’ve got all the normal ranges too.”
Hubbard says the store is very sharp on price due to its location. “Hereford is not a rich city, so we have gone for very good quality but really good value. Hereford needs to have an affordable bodycare shop and we are currently doing everything nobody else is, so we’ve got vegan perfume, make-up, skincare, hair care, you name it, we’ve got it in the plant-based lifestyle approach. And we’re ethical, with some uber ethical companies like Fair Squared.”
The new store has a treatment room and consultation room upstairs which will benefit from a small team of practitioners, including an acupuncturist, homeopath, two massage therapists – one sports, one aromatherapy – and a nutritional therapist.
The shop is located within a listed coach house, complete with exposed beams, which has been refitted in a modern style while adhering to conservation standards. Explaining what prompted the move, Hubbard explains: “This little coach house hasn’t come up on the market for 27 years, and two years ago the owners of the shop walked in and asked if we’d like the building. It was a pure opportunity thing. We bought the original store in September 2014 and have had such jaw-dropping growth each year, it gave us the confidence to open this new store.
“We managed to do it completely with private funding. We have two private investors who helped us to the tune of £20,00, but everything else we have saved for and paid for ourselves. The stock was a £40-50,000 investment and that is before any of the building work and the refit.”
So how has the new shop been received? “Everybody walks into the shop and says what a great feel it has – the energy in the shop is good. Word of mouth has been fantastic. The day we opened was a Monday and we just quietly slid open – I didn’t really want a big hullaballoo – but we were so busy. If the figures hold out I think we will have added at least 50% to our turnover as a business by opening this shop.”
Hubbard hasn’t had a launch party yet, but in early summer he will link the two stores with gazebos and invite regular customers to a street party to celebrate.