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Greenbay – a Spanish-Colombian alliance in West London

Vegan supermarket celebrates its fifth anniversary.

With £150 in her pocket and not able to speak English, Paula Alcalde arrived in the UK 11 years ago from Gijón in northern Spain.

Anderson Caicedo was already here, having pitched up from Colombia in 2007 with borrowed funds, also with barely any English.

They met by chance and, realising they shared vegan ideals, have since set about proving that the UK is a land of opportunity. Five years ago they founded a vegan supermarket, GreenBay in West London.

Between them they have oodles of talent. Anderson is an ex-JP Morgan and Bloomberg Analyst and Westminster University graduate with an MSc in Investment & Risk Finance. Entrepreneurial Paula, an Oxford University and Goldman Sachs Business Programme alumni, has a decade's experience in leading design, retail and food businesses.

They now employ 10 members of staff at GreenBay, are surviving the pandemic, and all self-funded too. They are also launching their own vegan food range and are driven to help plant-based products become more mainstream. In those five years they have sold more than half a million vegan products to over 50,000 customers.

"We struggled to find products suitable for our lifestyle,” says Paula. “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. So the idea for GreenBay was born.”

Anderson chimes in: “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.”

There's much more to their mission than providing vegan convenience. They see animal agriculture as 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,” says Paula. “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.”

This year, GreenBay has won the Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award for its outstanding customer service.

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