I’m Melissa, the face behind THE REFILL BARN....I'm the one on the right. I grew up in Saffron Walden, then spent some time living in London with my first job being in the city, but eventually found my way back to Radwinter after the pull of daily country walks was too hard to resist.


It wasn’t until I had my daughter that I first discovered the (relatively newly revived) concept of zero-waste shopping. We were lucky to have a fantastic green grocers near us where I never had to worry about packaging, as they simply stocked almost everything without any packaging at all. When I decided to become vegetarian (also shortly after having my daughter), it started to irritate me that supermarkets (unnecessarily) coated almost all fresh fruit and veg in plastic - this then got me thinking about the amount of packaging that all our grocery shopping came in. 

One day a friend told me about a refill shop near her (about half an hour away on the tube from me). After only a few visits, I quickly noticed the substantial reduction in our household waste and soon became hooked. 


After our son was born I didn’t want to go back to work in the City, my priorities had changed significantly since having children and I saw the world in a different way…not in a positive way...

We have to treat the Earth a bit better. For our children and their children. I wanted to do something that I thought might make some sort of a difference. 

So many of our friends and family were interested in our package-free shopping, but people find it challenging to step away from their normal purchasing habits so I decided I wanted to make package-free shopping more accessible for my local area. I got to work on a business plan to open a zero waste shop in Camden/Primrose Hill. 2020 was going to be a big year!

...As we all know, 2020 turned out a little different to what we all expected!

When the schools closed just before the first lockdown last year my husband, Sam (the one on the left) and I decided to move back to Radwinter (to stay with my parents) as we anticipated the impending lockdown. We all loved being back here so much that before the end of lockdown, we’d made the decision to move out of London, setup home back in Radwinter and we would start the venture out here.

With Sam's usual career in large scale events currently on hold (as a result of the pandemic), it's given him (and us) the time to get the business going. 

So here we are....