Independent Chichester store continues to flourish in new home

The joint-owner of an independent business in Chichester has revealed that the inspiration behind the 'old fashioned' store came from across the world in New Zealand.

Run by Harry Darrah and his wife, Esther, Refilled is a wholefoods, cleaning liquids and fresh produce store, which moved from Draper's Yard to 30 North Street this month.

The business is based in a site, which dates back to the 1700s, and was most recently used as Christmas pop-up shops.

Esther said the venture has been 'amazing' so far, adding: "The way of shopping is quite an old fashioned way, to reduce waste and plastic and It's going really well."

Refilled is run by Harry Darrah and his wife, Esther. Also pictured, left, is staff member Tamsin Smith

The store offers customers dry food and cleaning products 'on refill'.

"You can bring your own containers or we've got paper bags," Esther said. "It's shopping without the plastic.

"You can buy the amount you need or want. We are just trying to cut down the plastic and food waste.

"We've had lots of local residents say how excited they are."

The couple decided to start the business after visiting similar stores whilst travelling in New Zealand

Esther revealed that the inspiration behind the business came from the other side of the world.

"We got the idea when travelling in New Zealand," she said. "There are quite a few shops like ours there.

"When you are travelling, you don't want loads of packets of stuff and it dawned on us how much plastic we were saving.

"We said to ourselves when leaving Auckland, we wanted our own shop like that."

The store offers customers dry food and cleaning products 'on refill'

Esther explained that she and Harry wanted to 'start small and get bigger as we go'.

They set the business up in 2018 as 'one of the smallest places' in Draper's Yard, based in the Hornet.

"The following year, we doubled up and got another little shed to put our liquids in. We then got another one but we had been keeping an eye out for what's available.

"We were worried about the expense and, when Covid hit, it was even more difficult.

"We had to close one of the sheds."

After setting up an online store, Esther and Harry started a delivery service during the pandemic, 'so people didn't have to leave home'.

Now, with a nine-month old baby daughter, the couple have completed their move to North Street.

Esther added: "We've learned so much on our journey. We decided that having lots of places in Draper's Yard wasn't the best use of space. Now it's here, it flows much better.

"Draper's Yard is an amazing business start-up place. They're so encouraging and supportive. We are going to miss it but it's good to be on the high street."

Esther said the move has allowed them to add 'lots of new things, including frozen food and 'a lot more cleaning products'.

She continued: "We are trying to support more small and local businesses.

"It's been really nice to see people who haven't discovered us before and see how positive everyone is being about it.

"We're doing really well. It's been really busy since we opened so we just hope it carries on."