The Refill Shop in Flo’s community hub in Florence Park, was one of the first of its kind in Oxford when it opened in June 2019, selling plastic-free dry foods, detergents and toiletries.

It was an instant hit from the word go, but since the pandemic, demand has jumped even further.

Flo’s communities manager Makena Lohr says: “We’re finding that people appreciate being able to shop locally in the park away from the crowds. Equally, I think that people appreciate knowing that their money flows directly into supporting the local economy and community activities at Flo’s.”

It means that The Refill Shop off Rymers Lane, has added an extra day to its opening hours and brought in extra stock to meet demand, with plans in the pipeline to increase this even further.

”We always thought the shop would be popular, but this new demand has proved that people are becoming more aware of their impact on the planet and this touches people’s lives in a huge range of ways, from buying food (and not wasting it) to fast fashion and our carbon footprint,” Makena adds.

“Plastic-free refill shops likes ours are popping up all over the UK in response to this, and it’s a great way that small, local businesses (in our case a community-run business) can be ahead of the curve and provide what people really want.“

With plans afoot to team up with more local businesses to sell dairy products, vegetables and bread, and extend its hours even further, this current trend shows no sign of abating.

“Shopping with us is a great way to support the local economy and keep money flowing within Oxford. Using the refill shop enables Flo’s to be financially sustainable and fund the rest of our community work,” Makena explains.

The hub within Flo’s – The Place In The Park – is also home to a nature nursery, events space, café and midwifery services.

Flo’s is also running a takeaway service of delicious home-cooked lunches, cakes and drinks that can be ordered on its website and two free hot meals for people who really need it.


The refill shop is managed by Flo’s staff and a wonderful group of volunteers.

Flo’s Refill is now open three days a week: Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 12.30-6pm. For more information go to: