A new shop is aiming to be the greenest in Chester with a range of environmentally-friendly initiatives inspired by the owners’ Polish childhoods.
The pioneering business in Handbridge opened less than three months ago but is already leading the way with its green credentials.
ExSqueeze Me is a greengrocer and juice bar run by couple Krzysztof Kazmierski and Patrycja Barczyk.
The pair, originally from Poland, opened the business without any previous experience and have been learning on the job.
However, they knew right from the start that they wanted to make sure the business was as environmentally friendly as possible.
The shop has no single-use plastic packaging, only paper or compostable, and drinks are given out in glass bottles which customers pay a deposit for.
Even the interior fittings have been reclaimed or salvaged by the entrepreneurial pair – making sure nothing goes to waste.
“When I was growing-up we grew everything ourselves and built whatever we could with our own hands – so I suppose we were being ‘sustainable’ before the phrase became popular,” said 34-year-old Krzysztof.
“But we knew straight away that was how we wanted our business to be: sustainable and as green as possible.
“We’ve made sure we’re as environmentally friendly as we can be throughout the shop, and that obviously means being plastic free, we’re even going to change our van to an electric one – but that’s going to be a big investment for us.”
Running ExSqueeze Me is a dream come true for Krzysztof and his fiancé Patrycja Barczyk, as they’d always wanted to have their own business.
“When the previous owner told us he wanted to sell up, we joked about buying it, but then we thought ‘why not?’ so we did,” explained 33-year-old Patrycja.
“It’s been such hard work, yet so much fun and we already have loads of fantastic customers who are really supportive of the vision we have for the shop.”