A Lochwinnoch TV producer is hoping a new real-life adventure will be a blockbuster of a success with locals.
Suzanne Reid, who recently worked on the new Amazon Prime hit, the Rig, has opened a shop aimed at reducing waste and changing shoppers’ habits.
“The response has been really positive,” says Suzanne Reid who launched the Green Herbalist on 16th December after 17 months of preparations.
The original plan for the High Street building was to open a herbal shop there to follow her interest in herbal medicine.
However, it ended up being a combination of the producer’s two passions – saving the planet and helping people.
“The Green Herbalist combines both of those because it makes people more environmentally aware,” explains the soon-to-be-qualified herbal practitioner who has lived in the village for over 20 years.
Customers are encouraged to bring their own containers and fill them up with loose goods. The available products range from spices, freshly squeezed orange juice and vegan breads to eco-friendly detergents and herbal oils.
“I think it’s very important that we cut down our plastic use and that is what we’re doing here with the zero waste,” Suzanne continues.
The eco-consciousness also translates over to her professional career, with its most recent manifestation being the Rig – the first Amazon Prime series that was shot entirely in Scotland.
Branded as a supernatural thriller, its overall message revolves around nature fighting back against humans who destroy it.
“The oceans are full of plastics; the landfill sites are full of plastics…We need to save the planet,” adds Suzanne.
A local carpenter and designer Joe Kielarsky, who produced a banister for the shop, describes its owner as “an amazing person.”
“She used as much local labour as possible and she is, like me, very keen on recycling and doing her best for the environment,” he says.
Not forgetting her passion for herbal medicine, Suzanne is also planning to use the space for tea and natural remedy making workshops.
The eco-friendly shop isn’t the only business which has been launched recently. On Church Street, just a two-minute walk from the Green Herbalist, an artisan bakery called 21 Grains opened its doors a few days after.
Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the locals can look forward to freshly baked breads, baguettes, and pastries. The owner Debbie Williamson hopes that 21 Grains will become a “firm Lochwinnoch favourite.”
“We are super happy about the new shops in the village,” says one of the locals, Alexandra Gabaglia.
“The bakery has delicious sourdough, and the Herbalist has a great ethic of working together with the larder (a community food project),” she continues.
“This is what we desperately need – shops that are talking to one another and responding to the needs of the community.”
Although the retail shake-up in Lochwinnoch has been mostly positive, the village will soon witness another change which has already left many members of the community sad.
At the end of January, the beloved Heritage Farmers Market Shop will serve the locals for the last time after 20 years. The High Street staple became well-known for their in-house made pies and fresh hot rolls.