About the shop
Our Summer hours currently are:
Can I order online?
YES!! We finally have both options to Click and Collect (DELIVERERIES ARE CURRENTLY ON HOLD DUE TO OUR BIKE BEING BROKEN). Head on over to www.harmlessstore.online
How does it work?
For those of you who have never visited a bulk-food store before, welcome! We operate a little differently to most shops you will be used to. Please follow the advice below.
- Bring your own containers. We recommend reusing the packaging from previous products such as empty plastic bottles, glass jars, takeaway boxes etc. Please don’t put food inside packaging that once contained cleaning products or other non-food items of which the residue if ingested, could harm your health. We also ask that customers do not bring receptacles that originally contained animal-products as there could be a contamination issue.
- Once you arrive, you must weigh each container on the scales and mark its weight. We’ll be happy to show you how if it’s your first time, just ask one of our friendly assistants!
- Keep all your containers in one place while filling up as this will make it easier for you to keep track and out of the way of other customers. There are several counters and surfaces upon which you may gather your supplies.
- Once you have filled up with everything that you need, bring it to the till and we will then weigh the final amounts (subtracting the weight of the containers themselves) ready for you to pay. Please note that we are a card-only establishment.
Are you card or cash only?
We are a card preferred establishment.
Where can I park my car?
There is no on-street parking available. We encourage you to consider walking, cycling or taking public transport of which there are many convenient options. For public transport links, check our Contact page.
Can I bring my dog?
Yes, please do! Just be aware of other customers who may not be so keen, and of course keep an eye on them in case they’re cheeky enough to sneak a lick of the peanut butter!
About the stock
What items do you sell?
We sell a wide variety of VEGAN goods including but not limited to:
- Pasta (we have on average around 20 types of pasta)
- Rice (currently 8 types)
- Oat M*lk dispenser
- Peanut Butter Machine (Grind your own peanuts)
- Maple Syrup on tap
- Loose Frozen Fruit & Veg
- Selection of sweets (We are known for Coco Combs) https://harmlessstore.online/collections/chocolate/products/coco-combs-like-crunchies
- Oils (Sunflower, Rapeseed, Chilli Rapeseed, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Garlic Olive Oil, Toasted Sesame Oil)
- Nuts and seeds
- Herbs and spices
- Coffee beans (grind it in store) and loose leaf teas
- Pantry items
- Cleaning products
- Bathroom products
- Zero-waste tools
If you cannot find the item you are looking for, it is probably out of stock or we may not stock it! Feel free to get in touch to ask about a particular product.
Where can I find a stock list?
Please head onto our online shop as this is also acting as our up to date Stock List, or you can drop us a message on Instagram an one of our lovely team will get back to you
We share all our latest news on Instagram.
Have you considered stocking x-product?
If it’s an animal product then you are out of luck, we will never consider stocking animal products.
In other cases, it is likely we have thought about it, we may even be looking for a supplier.
In some cases, it might be impractical for us to stock the product due to lack of demand or size of the supplier’s minimum order. We would never want to cause any unnecessary food waste.
All of our products are commodity products which means the prices change weekly if not daily. If you would like to enquire about the current price of an item we stock, please get in touch via social media or use our contact form.
Are you more expensive than other shops?
It depends on the comparison. We have had customers in the past bring in cost/ 100g comparison lists of their preferred supermarket. Please bear in mind that Harmless products are premium products; the quality differs significantly to supermarket own-brand items and the price will usually reflect this. Having said this, they are commodity products and the prices vary regularly. Sometimes our prices beat supermarket prices and sometimes they don’t.
When judging what is expensive, we have to look further than the final retail price. Harmless takes into consideration not only the financial cost to the consumer, but most importantly, the cost to the planet, the growers and tradespeople.
Do you sell honey?
We do not sell honey and we will explain why. One honey bee spends its entire life working its tiny furry ass off to produce a total quantity of honey that would fill a teaspoon. They make this food to feed themselves and their babies.
Bees make honey by collecting nectar from flowers, and passing it between each other where the enzymes in their bodies change the chemical structure into honey. This food is nutritious and naturally resistant to bacteria and mould.
Bees do make excess honey but they do this in case of times of scarcity. By taking their backup and replacing it with sugar syrup, it weakens the hive and leaves them more susceptible to attack from disease and pests. In addition to this, we disagree with many of the honey gathering techniques employed by beekeepers which can also hurt and weaken the hive.
There are in fact around 250 species of bee in the UK including 24 types of bumblebee and just one type of honeybee. By now we all know about the campaign to save the bees from pesticides and habitat loss, yet how many of us realise we need to save all bees and not the honeybee alone? By consuming more honey and therefore supporting the honey industry, we’re actually creating competition for food sources among bees (and all nectar consuming insects). Instead we encourage you to mow your lawn less frequently and plant more bee-friendly flowers.
Do you sell milk in glass bottles?
We currently stock Minor Figures Oat M*lk (Barista Edition) on tap, please bring your own bottle/ jar/ used tetrapack to fill it up yourselves. This is the perfect plant based milk for adding to your tea and coffee as it does not separate like some others as you might have discovered.
We do not sell dairy milk in any containers. Milk is the product of lactating mothers, designed to feed their babies. Humans are the only species that actively drink the milk of another species and past infanthood. Is everything organic?
Many of our products are organic but not all. You may refer to our Harm Less Scale on the home page. At Harmless we have a set of principles of which we have organised according to order of priority. At the top of the scale are those priorities we believe will have the most positive impact on our planet for example, choosing plant-based ingredients.
Although very important, choosing organic is towards the bottom of our scale. When considering a supplier, we focus on the agricultural and manufacturing processes involved. This gives us a better idea of the sustainability of a company than its organic certification, or lack thereof. Many small businesses cannot afford to get certified, yet it is these small independent businesses we are most keen to work with.
Where do you source your products from?
The closer the better! We prioritise UK and European suppliers in order to reduce the transport distance and therefore carbon emissions. We are also more comfortable ordering from companies based within the European Union because we can be more sure about the health and environmental regulations they’ve adhered to. Also we love supporting smaller businesses as we are one ourselves :)
What packaging does your stock arrive in?
Most dry foods come in 25kg paper sacks however occasionally we get an unwelcome surprise when something randomly comes in a plastic sack. What happens to the packaging that your stock comes in?
We either return it to be reused by the original packers or recycle it.
Why are some of your products packaged in plastic?
A few of our products come wrapped in plastic. We prioritise vegan products above plastic-free because we want to encourage more customers to adopt a plant-based diet. A reduction in meat-consumption is often cited as the most effective action we can take to cut our carbon emissions.
About your visit
What do I need to bring?
You must bring clean, dry and preferably lightweight, empty containers. We recommend collecting reusable packaging from other recently finished products such as plastic tubs, bottles and takeaway boxes, glass jars and bottles. Cotton bags, plastic bags (for light transport), paper bags that you've used before are also great ways to refill.
Do you sell or lend extra containers?
We do sell cloth produce bags. We also have an 'adoption centre' where we have a collection of clean jars that have been left by customers who don't need them anymore.
If you prefer glass containers then it is easy to save these from the recycling bin, ask your friends and colleagues to to collect them for you or have a look in charity shops
If you arrive at the shop and realise you don’t have quite enough containers, ask us, we may have something you can use in the back.
Can I give you my empty jars?
Please don’t bring us your empty jars and other containers. While we would like to help everyone reuse, we are not a recycling company! We simply don’t have the space to keep spare containers.
In the past we have found that, as soon as we stop offering paper bags or glass jars, our customers immediately start bringing their own! This is the reuse mentality we hope to encourage.
Can I use any empty container to fill up?
Do not reuse packaging that once contained non-food items to refill with food items. Chemicals and other particles from the original product could contaminate your food and harm your health.
As a general rule, try to reuse packaging that once contained a similar product for example, refill a plastic washing up bottle with washing up liquid; refill a glass olive oil bottle with more olive oil; refill a peanut butter jar with loose nuts etc.
It is important to properly clean and dry your food containers before bringing them to refill. We don’t have the facilities for you to wash them here and we don’t provide alternative containers. Your food will keep longer in a container that is not contaminated by food residues or dampness, as this could cause your grains to sprout or grow mould, and preventing food waste is good!
Also please do not bring containers that previously contained animal products. We want to remove any risk of contamination when making contact between our containers and yours. If insufficiently cleaned, the residue may also affect the shelf-life of your goods.
Can my children serve themselves?
All children are welcome—we love meeting all your little eco-warriors! Unfortunately however, we cannot allow your children to serve themselves at the shop. We ask that until they are a little bit taller and a little bit stronger, they do not get involved in the refill process. This is to prevent spillages and contamination. Please keep an eye on your children at all times, particularly around the laundry liquid taps at the front of the shop, which are low down.
Why can I wear leather shoes but not real fur into the shop?
Please refrain from wearing real fur into the shop. If you were to enter wearing fur, we would kindly ask that you either remove the item and store it out of site in your bag or we can put it in the back for you for the duration of your visit. This is our policy to protect our staff and customers. As a reward for respecting our rules, we can offer you 10% off your next shop with us.
In some cases, you may not realise that you are wearing real fur. If the item comes from China and was relatively pricey purchase, then it is quite likely you could be wearing the fur of cats or dogs. We are very good at spotting real fur and will take the opportunity to talk to you about it, in case you are not already aware.
Leather on the hand, is usually a byproduct of the meat industry. While we do not want to support the meat industry, we understand that leather is a widely used material.
Will you stock my product?
We are currently not taking on any new suppliers or products.
Please make sure you have checked out our brand and see if your product aligns with our ethos. If your product is not vegan PLEASE save yourself time and energy and don't message us. However, if it is, then go to our Contact page and fill out the contact form there.
ALL THE LOVE,