High-profile Budgens retailer Andrew Thornton has launched Heart in Business, a venture that shows businesses how to put people and the planet first “and trust that profits will follow.”

Thornton, who runs a Budgens store in Belsize Park, North London, said he believed the world would be a better place if there was “a shift away from the profit obsession” that existed in the business world.

Thornton started his Budgens with a focus on the community and the environment, and then spread his ethos to the people in the business.

“More and more businesses are starting to do this type of thing,” he said. “I wanted to show there was a more caring way of running a business. Eight years later we are still in business.”

He said he would use what he had done at his store as a case study to enrol other businesses. Thornton even suggested it was an ethos Tesco’s new chief executive, Dave Lewis, could adopt because he came from Unilever which was “a more caring business” than Tesco.

Budgens marketing director Anna Burleigh said: “We encourage our retailers to create initiatives that benefit the communities they serve.”