With £150 in her pocket and not able to speak English Paula Alcalde arrived in the UK 11 years ago from Gijón, in North Spain. Anderson Caicedo also arrived in the UK from Colombia in 2007, with borrowed funds from his humble family, not able to speak English either.
They met by chance, decided to become vegan at the same time and now business partners Anderson and Paula are celebrating 5 years of launching what we believe is the UK’s first vegan supermarket, with both a physical and online presence – GreenBay in West London.
They now employ 10 members of staff, are surviving Covid and all self funded too. They are also launching their own vegan food range and with a strong drive their aim is to help plant-based products become more mainstream.
They have served over 50k customers and over half million vegan products sold.
“I’ve been honoured to help small businesses to introduce their innovative products to the market through GreenBay.
It’s been rewarding and I feel so proud to be a leader in a company that cares about the customers, suppliers and its employees. As a result, we have developed strong relationships with our suppliers, our employee turnover rate is very low and our customers feel valued.
In 2021, GreenBay won the Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award for its outstanding customer service in 2020.”
GreenBay attracts customers from all over the UK; is a safe haven for vegans, inspiration for plant based people as well as a non judgmental space for those who are curious to try out more meat free and dairy free options.
Anyone from anywhere in the UK can access their products online as well as visit the supermarket itself.
They stock over 1,200 vegan friendly products – many that are impossible to find elsewhere.
Both Paula and Anderson are passionate about providing a wider accessibility to new and innovative plant based products to everyone.
“We struggled to find products suitable for our lifestyle. I remember having to go to different shops, health food stores, online shops and supermarkets to find various vegan products, and it was very time consuming and inconvenient: a bit of a nightmare! So the idea for GreenBay was born.
And for my own career – although I had achieved huge career milestones at my young age, especially coming from a different country and was earning a considerable amount of income I was not passionate or fulfilled in my career. I wanted to dedicate my life to a bigger purpose and have a positive impact on people’s lives.”
Besides solving the issue of convenience, they realised there was a much deeper issue at hand.
“Animal agriculture is one of the leading causes accelerating climate change and the planet’s destruction.
We know that eating a plant-based diet is considered to be the ‘single biggest way’ to reduce our environmental impact on earth with up to a 73% carbon footprint reduction.
We truly believe that people want to do better, but they don’t usually know where to start. Our diet is such an important part of our lives and traditions, and even our identity, so switching overnight can be daunting.
Our mission is to make it easy, fun and convenient for people to make better choices, by educating them on the positive impact that small changes can make.”