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Charles picks beans over chocolate on zero-waste shopping trip

The Prince of Wales poured a portion of organic cannellini beans at the Natural Weigh shop in Crickhowell.

The Prince of Wales has tried his hand at zero-waste shopping – pouring himself a portion of organic cannellini beans.

Charles decanted an 88p jar at the Natural Weigh shop in Crickhowell in Powys, Wales.

Staff initially offered the prince chocolates, but he replied: “It’s my darling wife who likes chocolate”.

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The Prince of Wales looks at a range of chocolates on display at the Natural Weigh shop in Crickhowell (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Chloe Masefield, 29, who runs the shop with husband Robin Masefield, 31, spoke about Charles’s keen interest in the environment.

“He is really interested with the plastic issue – he has a genuine interest in that area,” Mrs Masefield said.

“We thought he might be interested in having some of our chocolate but he went for the cannellini beans instead.

“He was really keen that there wasn’t a single use plastic around.”

Mrs Masefield presented the prince with his jar of beans, as well as a reusable bag and locally-made ocean spray soap.

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Charles meets husband and wife team Darryl Evans (second left) and Michelle O’Donnell-Evans (left) in the Odonnell Bakehouse during a visit to the restored former Corn Exchange in Crickhowell (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Natural Weigh is one of three business in the restored former Corn Exchange in the market town, which is situated in the Brecon Beacons.

There are no national chains in Crickhowell’s high street, with only independent and mostly family-run small shops there.

In 2015, the Corn Exchange pub was due to close and be turned into a supermarket.

A team of volunteers formed the company Corn Exchange Crickhowell Ltd and convinced 267 investors to raise £700,000 to buy and convert the Grade II listed building.

The building has now been turned into three shops – Natural Weigh, The Emporium and Odonnell Bakehouse – as well as three flats.

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The Prince of Wales said the vegan pea soup from the Odonnell Bakehouse was ‘seriously good’ (Andrew Matthews/PA)

Charles sampled a vegan pea soup at the Odonnell Bakehouse, remarking: “Seriously good”.

He was presented with a glass engraved dragon at The Emporium by owner Lindsay Perks and her husband Spencer.

Mrs Perks collects crafts and vintage items to sell in the shop, which opened in May.

“Is there really any room for you in the house?” Charles asked Mr Perks.

Charles unveiled a plaque to mark the formal opening of the restored Corn Exchange and described it as “remarkable”.

“Having had the chance to visit all the new enterprises here and one of the residents of the new flats, I can say how impressed I am by the way so many of you invested in making this possible,” he said.

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Marta Rose Jones, 5, (right) and four-year-old Ellie Powell, 4, presented Charles with posies during his visit Crickhowell on the fourth day of his tour of Wales (Andrew Matthews/PA)

As he left Crickhowell, Charles was presented with posies by schoolchildren Martha Rose Jones, five, and Ellie Powell, four.

Tim Jones, communications director of Corn Exchange Crickhowell Ltd, described the project as an “astonishing thing”.

“We are well aware of the prince’s interest in urban regeneration and sustainable high streets,” Mr Jones said.

“We are delighted he is here today and decided to open it. It puts the icing on the cake for us.”

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