New refill shop was 'now or never' moment for St Ives man

Martin Cooper - owner of The Refill Shop of Ikigai.

Martin Cooper - owner of The Refill Shop of Ikigai. - Credit: Martin Cooper

A new refill shop had opened in St Ives fullfilling a dream for a St Ives' man. 

The Refill Shop of Ikigai is located on White Hart Lane, just off the High Street and opened on February 12. It is classed as an essential store, selling food and household cleaning products, from a variety of local and eco suppliers and has covid security in place. 

Shop owner, Martin Cooper said: "Opening a refill shop has been something I've been thinking about for a while, so when I was made redundant in November after a 20-year career, it felt like it was now or never!"

The Refill shop of Ikigai 

The Refill shop of Ikigai - Credit: Martin Cooper


The former engineer has set up the refill store to help people reduce the amount of plastic waste they accrue when shopping in supermarkets, as well as allowing people to buy the amount of products they need, to help reduce food waste too. 

 The word 'ikigai' in the shop name comes from Japan, but has no direct translation.  

'Iki' means life and 'gai' means purpose or reason for being. 

Martin added: "I chose the shop name as it encompassed the aim to help people buy the products they use regularly, but have no way of purchasing without plastic - and generally single use plastic, such as pasta and rice. 

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"Everything sold will be in a refillable or reusable container or a compostable and biodegradable bag - even our loyalty cards are made from seed paper and can be planted when they're finished with.

"We are all aware of the impact we are having on the planet and I hope that the Refill Shop of Ikigai will help make it easier for people to make small changes and do their bit - and find their purpose." 

The shop will offer a 'served only' option when it first opens, and numbers in the store will be limited. 

"I know opening during the current lockdown isn't ideal, but all measures possible are in place to ensure we are covid secure, and we hope people will see us as great environmentally friendly alternative to supermarket shopping." 

Hours will vary in the first few weeks, so customers are asked to check the shop’s Facebook and Instagram pages - @RefillShopOfIkigai or website -