Q: If I bring my own containers to fill, won’t I be charged for the container weights?
A: Nope. Before you begin shopping, our employees can weigh all your empty containers to get the tare weights (the empty container weights) so that we can deduct this weight from the total weight when you check out. This way you will only pay for the product weight.
Tare weights will be written on the containers via wax pencils or masking tape and pens. The wax pencils can be used to write directly on containers with hard surfaces, and they are water resistant but can be rubbed off.
Q: What about the waste you produce? Don’t bulk products still come in packaging?
A: It’s good to know that people are thinking about the waste produced throughout the supply chain! Yes, our bulk products still need packaging to be transported to us. However, bringing your own containers to fill up on bulk products still reduces packaging waste as a lot more material is needed to package individual portions of goods. While we are not perfectly waste free, we try to work with our suppliers to minimize our waste by avoiding plastic packaging. With local suppliers, we set up reusable container systems when possible to have goods delivered to us in containers that are taken back by the supplier for refills.
Q: I have allergies. Is it safe for me to shop at your store?
Due to the open nature of our store, we recommend against buying from bulk if you have severe allergies. We would not be able to guarantee that no cross-contamination has occurred with our packaging-free products. While many of our products will be contained in gravity dispensers which would help reduce cross-contamination, we are not an allergen-free facility. That also means that the foods we make in store and package in glass jars could potentially contain trace amounts of allergens (e.g. nuts), though we take precautions to prevent cross-contamination.
Q: How do you keep bulk foods free from germs and contamination?
A: Cleanliness and keeping our foods free from contamination is very important to us, and it’s something that we’ve thought about from the inception of our store. Many of our products will be placed in gravity dispensers, which will allow you to dispense products directly into your containers in a hands-off manner. The gravity dispensers help prevent cross-contamination and keeps hands out of the products. While we will also make use of bulk bins with scoops, we will be strategically organizing our products such that ready-to-eat foods, such as nuts, will be placed in gravity dispensers (if possible) while foods that need to be cooked before eating, such as rice, will be placed in the bulk bins. In addition, scoops, tongs, and ladles will be frequently cleaned and sanitized.
Q: Do you have store parking?
There is a free 2-hr parking lot a one minute walk across the street behind Starbucks. There is also street parking along King St.
Q: Will you have student discounts?
A: We will have 15% off discounts applied to staple grocery items (e.g. food, soaps, toiletries) for post-secondary students. You just need to present a valid student ID.
Q: Will there be discounts for bringing your own containers?
A: Ideally, we would like bringing your own to be the norm in society where bringing your own is expected without reward. That said, we will be rewarding one Earth Point for every reusable container you bring from home and use in store. Earth Points can be spent on items in our Rewards Catalogue.
Q: What do you mean by “zero waste”?
To us, zero waste is about minimizing the amount of waste sent to the landfills as much as practically possible. We help you to live zero waste by providing package-free options and sustainable alternatives to your everyday disposable and plastic products. In addition to reducing waste on the consumer’s side, we try to reduce the waste we produce as a business. This includes encouraging our suppliers to deliver our products with minimal plastic packaging. It’s important to us that we try to reduce the behind-the-scenes waste produced throughout the supply chain along with preventing household waste. That said, we aren’t perfect. “Zero waste” is an aspiration to us while we try to minimize our waste.