Pupils from two local primary schools have started growing ‘Food from the Pavement’ outside trailblazing indie Andrew Thornton’s refurbished Budgens store in Belsize Park, London, which opened Thursday.

The project to grow herbs and strawberries is akin to Thornton’s ‘Food from the Sky’ initiative - a volunteer-run roof garden above Thornton’s Crouch End store, which grows salad and vegetables to be sold in store.

It is part of a £215,000 store refurbishment expected to slash a third off the store’s carbon emissions. The 138.2 tonne annual reduction equates to a £20,000 saving on its energy bills and has been achieved through a combination of installing chiller doors, more efficient refrigeration and LED lighting at the 7,000 sq ft site.

The store’s post office has been upgraded from a Post Office Local to a main Post Office - making it the first national franchised post office that offers the full range of services.

The food offering has also been ramped up. Salad grown on the Crouch End roof will be harvested and cycled over to Belsize Park every week. New features include an in-store butcher and service counters selling fresh patisserie and hot food prepared by a chef based at the Crouch End store.

The deli space has been expanded to include fresh sandwiches and a larger range of food to-go products and the butcher and fishmonger now prepare and package items so they’re ready to cook. The store also boasts a barista, grind-your-own coffee machine and a seating area.

“We’ve made massive steps forward since I took over the store four-and-a-half years ago,” said Thornton. “We went as far as we could with the existing fabric and felt we needed to redesign it to move forward with the carbon footprint reduction and to improve the offer.”