A GROUP of friends are hoping to raise the remaining funds needed to open a social enterprise in Mount Florida.

Paola Cardona and Juan Ortiz and their friend Pilar Amieva are just £1250 away from reaching their £12,000 goal to open The Good Choice, a zero-waste shop.

By combining their personal funds, the trio were able to secure their premises and are now in the process of fitting it out and purchasing equipment.

The money made from the crowdfunding will go towards zero-waste fixtures such as dispensers and scoop bins, as well as a fridge, coffee grinder and their initial stock.

Paola and Juan, from Cali, Columbia met Pilar, from Mexico City, Mexico and now living in Stirling through a friend.

The group brainstormed some ideas to help make a contribution to the part of the world they now call home.

“We’ve been quite socially and environmentally aware for some time already and around five years ago we started taking small steps to change personally,” Juan said.

“From trying to buy only what’s necessary and developing that into making our own bread and cheese at home.

“Not just to avoid packaging but also to be more in control of what ingredients we use.

"Last year, around April, we decided to go for a zero-waste shop and started constructing that idea.”

Paola and Juan are both waiters and initially Covid-19 stalled their search for a space.

However, when they were both furloughed, they were able to focus all their time and energy on the store.

Paola said: “We were working [on the store] until very late because we wanted to make it this year before November before things change with winter.

“We put a lot of time into it [but] it’s something we’re passionate about it so it doesn’t feel like work.”

Zero-waste shops aim to minimise waste by eliminating product packaging, encouraging customers to reuse their own containers.

Purchasing in bulk also helps to reduce waste as you only buy the amount you need.

The Good Choice will be located on Cathcart Road and will hopefully be opening in October.

Customers will be able to shop basic products including dry goods, dairy and house-made vegan milks, toiletries and cleaning products.

Juan added: “There needs to be a large-scale change but that comes from personal change, you can’t just wait for things to happen, you need to do things on your own.”

Paola also hopes they will be able to offer workshops in the future to teach people how to make their own products, like bread and cheese, that they have been making at home.

The store is also offering rewards for contributors to the crowdfunder, depending on the amount donated.

A £10 or more donation will earn a one-off 10 per cent discount, while a £500 or more donation gives a 20 per cent discount for life with other rewards for amounts in between.

See www.crowdfunder.co.uk/thegoodchoice-zerowaste#start to donate to The Good Choice or for more information on the store.