Even though it only opened on May 10th this year, there’s no doubt that Ruddington’s The Bottle Top on High Street has already become an integral part of village life for many residents – especially craft beer fans and more environmentally conscious customers.
Located in the premises previously occupied by the legendary Thomas’s Greengrocers, husband and wife team Anthony and Alex Preston (pictured above) certainly had some big shoes to fill at 2, High Street. However, it quickly became clear that their new business would be much more than just a ‘posh’ off-licence. They promised to bring this famous shop back to life with a range of products not previously available in our village. Items such as local honey, jams, sauces and coffees have been on offer since the start – with the duo since expanding their product ranges whenever and wherever possible.
The Bottle Top is also establishing itself as a hub of ‘sustainable’ living in Ruddington – with its many eco-friendly products and initiatives. This includes the return of a selection of fresh fruit and vegetables without all the plastic packaging – some from local growers. These are now available in ‘Fruit & Veg Boxes’ where you can pick and choose your week’s supply of produce in advance from a seasonal list – priced from £5 to £10 depending upon how much you’ll need. You’re just asked to return the box or crate for them to reuse. The selection of available fruit and veg is set to increase further very soon.
Alex and Anthony say they’ve been delighted with the support they’ve received so far. Over the summer more than a hundred people joined The Bottle Top’s new Low Waste July Support Group on Facebook and downloaded Alex’s Low Waste Starter Pack to take part in a 31 day challenge during Plastic Free July – trying to reduce their negative impact on the environment.
They held a ‘Refill and Reuse’ evening at the shop in July, too. “For us personally it was successful” says Alex. “We managed to make a lot of swaps and reduce our waste – getting down to half a bin by collection day. But, more importantly, very successful with the amount of people that joined in from the village and further afield. It’s entirely up to other people what they go on to do environmentally now but, for us, it’s not just for July. It’s something we’ll continue to do all year round ourselves and with our business”.
Underlining that commitment, Alex confirms their range of eco-friendly products and refills is continuing to grow: “We now have refills for our sauce bottles, for laundry and household cleaning items where you bring along your old containers like shampoo, conditioner and hand soap bottles – or washing powder boxes – to refill in store. We have dental tabs instead of plastic toothpaste tubes, bamboo toothbrushes and drinking straws.” These sit alongside reusable cups, flasks and metal lunch boxes – all designed to get us away from single use plastics. Rows of jars are filled with loose pantry staples in their ‘low waste’ section, ready to weigh into your own containers.
Alex continues: “Since we opened we’ve been collecting for the TerraCycle scheme. Now we’ve got instore boxes for that – for all the puree pouches that you get which you can wash and bring them to us to send them to be recycled – along with your crisp packets and confectionery packets. Every item that’s returned to be recycled earns a point – and those points mean money for our charities. We’re currently supporting The Friends of James Peacock School, The Friends of Rushcliffe Country Park and Friends of the Earth.”
Former brewery area manager Anthony’s passion is Craft Ale – with an ever expanding range of colourful cans and bottles in stock. By popular demand, real ale in a bottle has just been added to the shelves – with further additions from the local craft ale scene alongside national, European and American beers. “We’re doing better than we originally thought we would” admits Anthony. “We’ve got a good set of regulars now for such a small shop. It’s going really well. We’ve increased our opening hours, too!” Naturally he’s keen for you to return your empty bottles and cans for reuse and recycling, as well.
After the success of their participation in RuddFest 2019, The Bottle Top is now holding quarterly ‘micro bar’ events in the shop with beers on tap – the next one being its ‘Oktoberfest Party’ running from Thursday 19th to Saturday 21st September.
Alex and Anthony have also expanded their presence at the monthly Ruddington Village Market by taking over the Fruit and Veg stall previously run by market volunteers – hopefully on a permanent basis, if all goes well. Please be sure to go along and give them your support there, too!
The Bottle Top is now open Monday to Thursday from 9am to 6pm and from 9am to 9pm on a Friday and Saturday. You can keep an eye on their latest offers and initiatives via their Facebook page >>HERE<<.