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Brighton sisters, Amy and Ruth Anslow, founded their independent supermarket, hiSbe, with the help of Start Up Loans.

hiSbe stands for “how it Should be” and was born from Amy and Ruth’s frustration with current supermarkets, who they believe, should be doing business in a more responsible way. hiSbe is a social enterprise on a mission to do what’s right, not just make money. Prior to starting hiSbe, Amy worked in the third sector on behavioural change projects whilst Ruth worked in the private sector in sales and marketing. The sisters brought together their skill sets to open their ethical supermarket.

hisbe store brighton

hiSbe sells normal, recognisable products at affordable prices that are as local, healthy, natural, ethically produced and responsibly sourced as possible. The sisters’ pilot store opened in York Place, Brighton in December 2013 and has proved a great success. They hit 101% of their sales target in the first year and now employ 12 members of staff. Together the hiSbe team serve 2,500 customers each week.

Amy and Ruth have benefitted from mentoring from the Body Shop’s co-founder, Gordon Roddick. He approached the sisters after hearing about hiSbe. With a background in ethical trading, Gordon has provided the sisters with invaluable advice which has enabled them to take their social enterprise from strength to strength.

hisbe ethical store tote bag

After one year of trading, Amy and Ruth couldn’t be happier with the progress of their Brighton supermarket. Looking ahead, the sisters are starting to draw up a 30 year plan to establish hiSbe stores nationwide, and ultimately, to build a chain of 21st century supermarkets. Amy and Ruth are excited about the future of their supermarket and are looking forward to giving consumers nationwide the option to shop at a hiSbe store.

Published on 21 June 2016

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