Campaigner Lynn Williamson has thrown herself into her latest cause with even greater enthusiasm than usual – after joining forces with friend Amanda Ganley to launch their own health food shop.
The Incredible Nutshell is a brighter, more vibrant version of its somewhat rundown predecessor, In A Nutshell, at Chesterfield Road, Heeley.
And the two women are determined to win back all the store’s old customers as well as a whole generation of new ones.
Lynn and Amanda were both looking for a new challenge when the shop came on the market: it seemed like a sign.
“In the past it had been very popular, but it had become tired and run down – the sign had rotted and fallen off to rename the shop simply ‘hell’!” says Lynn.
They closed for four weeks, roped in friends and family to help carry out a complete refurbishment, then set about sourcing exciting new stock ready for the opening three weeks ago.
“The response has been amazing, with so much support from local people,” says Lynn, a vegan for 29 years. “I’ve lived in this area for many years and know there’s a demand for ethical food alternatives.”
In addition to traditional health and whole foods, the Nutshell sells a broad range of ‘foodie’ products. These range from specialist oils to Japanese seaweed; organic and gluten-free ranges to take-away ready meals; and an impressive selection of local-grown herbs, free-range eggs, onion bhajis from St Mary’s Community Centre and fresh bread from Cat Lane Bakery.
Amanda, who was recently involved with the Sharrow Pie Experiment in London Road, also plans to introduce recipe ideas to help people moving towards vegetarian, vegan or other special diets.