A new grocery store in Toronto’s west end offers a glimpse at the future of food retail. Unboxed Market, located on Dundas Street West, claims to be Toronto’s first truly waste-free grocery store, reports StyleDemocracy. Owners Michelle Genttner and Luis Martins have opted not just to use minimal packaging for what they sell, but also ensure that suppliers are waste-conscious in their own operation – including taking back the boxes and crates for reuse.
Customers are also encouraged to bring their own reusable containers for purchases. These are weighed when the customer arrives, and that weight is deducted at checkout. As an option, the store offers biodegradeable paper packaging, as well as its own containers that customers can use for a deposit payment.
The top food-waste category is produce, largely through spoilage. One way Unboxed Market reduces that loss is by using the produce in the dishes prepared and sold on premises.
The 1500 square foot store opened in February. In addition to groceries and home care products, Unboxed market offers an in-store café and bakery, in-house prepared foods and a smokehouse and charcuterie room.
Genttner and Martins say they got the idea for a truly zero-waste store after seeing how much waste there is in the restaurant and hospitality industries.