Meet the website team
Faces and personalities are important when making purchases from a website. We want to reassure you our customers and potential customers that we are not “fly by nights” in it for the cash but that we do actually care about what we sell, how we present it to you, how we get it to you and how you respond when you have received it. That is why we want you to meet the Web team. It won’t take long, there’s not many of us.
Website manager. Jo joined the company in March 2008. She is energetic, lives life to the full, works hard, and takes the remit of her post very seriously. Jo has been involved with the organic food industry for 18 years and has a wealth of knowledge and contacts which have really helped in the development of our website. Her spec when taking on the position of manager was to grow the business, keep customer satisfaction high and raise awareness on the national & international stage of organic & natural groceries and foods.
Lewis Richards Website Assistant Manager.
Lewis has been with the company since March 2006, when he started on the checkouts in the store. This was for a relatively short period of time until he took over stock-checking and stock control procedures for the website. Latterly he has graduated to Website Assistant Manager and does an excellent job supporting Jo in all aspects of the web business. Additionally he works part time in our main store where his wonderful sense of humour and courteous service are a huge asset. Outside of work, mountain biking and cars are a great passion.
Mike – one of NGS’ founders...
“It was all an accident, really. I was staying with a family on Vancouver Island in the late 1980s. It was the sort of place that you either arrive in a small boat or, if you’re in a hurry, a helicopter. Their son was quite ill, and had schizophrenia. To try to help him, the whole family changed their diet. They stopped eating processed food and switched to a more natural way of eating – whole grains, organic food, that sort of thing. I was pretty sceptical at first, but the change in diet had a massive effect on Ross's behaviour. It was incredible – and it got me thinking."
Paul, NGS’ other co-founder takes up the story…
"Mike and I were both thinking as, a couple of years later, we travelled through the US and the Far East. We started looking at how natural foods were sold in America and Hong Kong. It was all very, very different from the rather worthy, dark and understocked ‘health shops’ that you found in the UK. You could buy things other than dried chick-peas for a start…"
We decided we should take the plunge and start our own store. Somewhere light and airy like the stores in the States. Somewhere where we could make sure the shelves were groaning with things people would want to eat, rather than little brown things in packets they thought they should eat.
We looked in London, Brighton and a few other places before we settled on Cheltenham. We gutted the store, slapped what felt like gallons on paint on the walls and then opened the doors on May 1998. Customers started coming in, they liked what they saw, many of them are now firm friends, and the doors have stayed open…
I’m not sure we’ve had time to draw breath since!
With some places, you either get the feeling they’re using their environmental credentials as a marketing tool. With others, it’s all so hair-shirted it hurts. For us, it’s simple. We believe the smaller our footprint, the better for the world.
That’s why we recycle absolutely everything we can. Sometimes, it’s almost in spite of ourselves – if you try to get through the corridor at the back of the store you can’t move for stacked cardboard ready to be recycled. Look in the loo (no – really) – we’ve got a hippo bag to minimise the water we use, and you can wash your hands in biodegradable detergent. You won’t find a standard lightbulb in the place – they’re all low-energy. We use Ecotricity for all our power as well.
Rather than installing air conditioning, we’ve covered the front windows of the store with solar film to keep temperatures down.
Nearly all our staff cycle to work – and we make sure there are plenty of places they can leave their bikes safely. We’ve even chosen the people who deliver your order as much for their environmental credentials as their efficiency.
For us, it's simple. We believe the smaller our footprint, the better for the world.
That's why we recycle absolutely everything we can.
- Winner of the Green Apple Award 2008
- Innovative Vision in Retailing – Finalist
- Best Retailer 2007 – runner up to Waitrose
- UKTV Local Food Hero 2007 Nominee
- Cotswold Life Organic Retailer of the Year (three times in a row - 2006, 2005, 2004)
- International Retail Design (we actually came second – to Stella McCartney’s Hong Kong shop…)
The Web team are available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm on 01242 572 323.
Cheltenham Store Opening Hours:
8am to 10pm 7 Days a week.
(Except Bank Holidays but please call us on 01242 243 737 for details).
Our Easter Store opening hours:
Good Friday: 8am ~ 6pm
Saturday 15/04/17: 8am ~ 6pm
Easter Sunday: Closed
Easter Monday: 10am ~ 6pm
Tuesday 18/04/17: 8am ~ 10pm