Zero waste food store Gosport Eco Freaks Emporium is moving to Lee-on-the-Solent due to a struggling town center

The Eco Freaks Emporium, which offers sustainably produced food without excessive packaging, opened at 14 South Street in 2018, but a lack of passing trade forced the owners to close the store.

The company, which also has an outlet in Havant, opened a new unit at 8 Milvil Road, Lee-on-the-Solent on Saturday.

Eco Freaks Emporium owner Chloe Cobb said the move was prompted by the hardships downtown.

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Chloe Cobb, founder of the new Eco Freaks Emporium in West Street, Havant. Photo: Mike Cooter (030721)

The 33-year-old said: “We were supposed to keep both shops open but the main street in Gosport is really struggling.” There is no passage there.

“If a store depends on footfall, this is not the place to be.

‘It’s really difficult.

“We needed to move to look at the books.”

The Eco Freaks Emporium Gosport store is now closed. Photo: Sam Stephenson

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Businesswoman Chloe said turning the city center bus station into a dining destination could change the fortunes of the area.

Speaking of Gosport Borough Council’s efforts to revitalize the area, she said: ‘I know they are trying to encourage markets but there are not enough independents (shops) to rally that interest.

Eco Freaks plans to retain use of the South Street unit for a project to be revealed later this year.

Chloe said: “We’re keeping the unit for something else – but we’re not obligated to say what yet.”

Eco Freaks Emporium opened a store on West Street in Havant last July, with a cafe above the unit.

Chloe also runs The Trash Cafe Network, which tackles food waste by collecting and processing food waste to feed around 4,000 people a week in Gosport, Portsmouth, Fareham, Havant and Southampton.

The company also sells over 400 products online.