Taking advantage of the lack of organic retailers in the area, Wigan-based Jenny Wren’s has transformed itself from a regular grocery store to a mainly organic outlet, which hopes to double in size over the coming months.
The store was opened in August 2015 by Jayne Seymour, who, along with her partner Paul, is passionate about great produce. The store has always had a handmade/homemade feel, but when customers starting asking if it sold organic veg boxes, things took a new turn, quickly “evolving into the extraordinary from the ordinary”.
“In October we decided to bite the bullet and order our first batch of organic fruit and vegetables. It was a big gamble but we knew of no other independents locally selling organic. Perhaps we thought we needed a strong USP in this current market to attract customers. We put a sign out saying ‘organic’ and it was the best thing we could have ever done; people literally drove by and turned around to come and take a look!”
From there Seymour started to stock a range of ambient products through Suma. The majority of the store’s products are organic, but it does have a few lines, which aren’t organic due, she says, to the retail prices.
“We also do a range of homemade savoury products including pies made with the finest locally-reared organic beef and lamb. These have been a big hit with our customers.”
“We are keen to drive the business forward as we are so passionate about our fabulous produce, and our loyal customer base continues to grow through our Facebook page as well as word of mouth. On the whole we have become a destination for our customers, rather than a shop for local people. Some people have said Wigan isn’t ready for organic, so I suppose we feel like it is a bit of an uphill struggle, but we will persist as we believe otherwise!”
Seymour is hoping to double the size of the shop soon to create more of a store rather than a little shop feel so it can then showcase more of its products, and is also looking to sell online.
“We are not certified with the Soil Association simply due to cost at the moment. We make quite a few things ourselves in the shop, for example our Duckling Dinners baby food and Juiced Roots cold-pressed juice made here with all organic ingredients. We do hope to become certified down the line and then look into wholesaling these products.”