A business begun from home on the proceeds of selling a motorbike has moved into an industrial unit to expand.
Nigel Blake, who had 25 to 30 years experience in building supplies, and his wife Caroline began the Smart Green Shop two years ago in their Bury St Edmunds home after getting interested in energy saving.
At http://smartgreenshop.co.uk they sell everything from low energy bulbs and energy-use monitors to wind-up torches and green toys.
Nigel explained that as he drove around the country in his last job, listening to the radio, it seems environmental issues, such as climate change, were treated with scepticism.
“Even if you don’t feel the environmental issues are important, why waste energy and waste your money?” he argues. “The aim is to get people to be environmentally friendly by helping them save money.”
Nigel says using a £2 halogen G10 bulb for five hours a day costs £14.78 a year against £1.28 for the £6 LED equivalent. The LED lasts about 10 years, during which time halogen replacements cost £38.
“The consumer should re-coup the extra cost of the LED bulb after around six months,” he said.
The online shop grew and the couple had to take on a storage unit for stock, with a makeshift office in the unit.
It has now moved into industrial units in Bury’s Northgate Avenue. Nigel said:“It means we can offer local customers a click-and-collect service and we had got to the stage where we needed an extra pair of hands to help with packaging.
“I wanted to take it up to a new level and found somewhere with the space to expand,” he said.
About 30 per cent of orders are exported but they hope the new site will help them boost their sales to local businesses.