If one of your goals is to be less wasteful, then this grocery store on Dundas West needs to be on your radar.
Toronto’s first waste-free grocery store, Unboxed Market, is 100% just that, and they want everyone to know it. From how they receive product, to how we (the customer) buy it, it’s all done with as little waste as possible. How does this work, you ask? Well, it sounds complicated but it’s actually really easy being green!
Simply bring your empty containers/jars/whatever and weigh them, as this’ll come in handy at checkout (don’t worry if you forget containers at home—you can pay a deposit for theirs). Then go ahead and peruse the aisles, shop the spice drawers, sample the deli meat at the back, and let your mouth water at the hot food table.
Once you’re all shopped out, the cashier will weigh your goodies and deduct what your container weighs and that’s it — easy grocery shopping all done without the shame of Mother Nature.
Whether you’re on the hunt for fresh and local produce, soft baguettes, fragrant spices, or specialty items like duck eggs or made in-store chorizo, Unboxed Market on Dundas St. West has it all, and it’s all done with as little waste as possible.
Unboxed Market is everything we love about bulk stores mixed with the expertly curated selection you’d find at a higher up grocery store without the crazy jacked-up prices.
Unboxed Market is the brain child of Michelle Genttner and Luis Martins. It came to life after the two witnessed first-hand how much waste there is in the restaurant and hospitality industries.
Both Michelle and Luis were raised to appreciate food and be mindful of where it comes from and it was working in the restaurant industry where they saw the disconnect most people have with their food.
A really interesting fact we learnt from Michelle is that a grocery store’s largest profit loss is produce. This is because sometimes it goes bad before it’s purchased, and one thing they do to stop that loss from happening is they use it in dishes that they serve at the hot table and café.
Not only is everything available in the store done with as little packaging as possible but it doesn’t end there. When Unboxed Market receives shipments from suppliers, they ensure that where it comes from is mindful about waste as well. Plus, when products are shipped to the store, Unboxed Market sends the crates back to the suppliers so they can use it again—actual recycling is pretty genius, right?
At Unboxed, Michelle and Luis want to involve the community as much as possible and that involves hosting fun food events for everyone to enjoy. They recently hosted an olive oil tasting with olive oil brand, Olive Pressée and have many plans for in-store events in the future.
Not only does Unboxed supply gorgeous produce and ready-to-eat deliciousness right in the store but they also have a cafe. The cafe is right at the front of the store and it’s there that they serve coffee (duh!), their house-made pastries along with to-go lunches. Just remember to bring your own coffee mug or carafe!
Looking to use more non-toxic products? Well Unboxed Market has you covered because there is literally a wall of clean and non-toxic beauty and household products that you can dispense into your own bottles and take home!
Take a peek inside Unboxed Market below.