Zero Waste Bulk is for sale!

We are looking for a new owner to take over the business.

We want to give back to the community and will be donating 2% of the proceeds of the sale of Zero Waste Bulk to various non-profit organizations within the Waterloo Region that we believe in.


Our story & why we’re selling

In 2016, I came across the idea of living “zero waste”, and I became obsessed with reducing as much waste as possible. I tried to avoid wasteful packaging, but to my frustration, there was no store within my vicinity at the time where I could get a wide variety of package free goods from bulk. I dreamed of a place where I could not only get dry bulk foods, but also products like oils, vinegars, maple syrup, frozen foods, soaps, and cosmetics all from bulk using my own containers.

So my partner Cass and I got to work, and we opened Zero Waste Bulk in December 2018. We steadily added more product options over time to have most of the products I dreamed of available in bulk, our newest bulk category being refillable makeup!

With our BYOC program, we have collectively avoided the consumption of over 135,000 pieces of disposable product packaging since our opening.

While I have successfully materialized my dream of opening a zero waste store, I can say I have bit off more than I can chew. I am someone who thrives in the creative start up phase of idea generation. Even in the start up phase, I anticipated that I would eventually hand off the store to someone else once I had realized my vision. On the other hand, managing the daily operations of a business has been a challenge for me.

This year, I found out that I am autistic, and I realized I have been heavily masking over the past few years due to the social nature of running a business. Autistic masking is when a person with autism tries to act neurotypical in order to be socially accepted. It may look like trying to figure out the social rules, following social scripts, and consciously controlling facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language in order to appear “normal”. (People with autism have social communication differences.)

Autistic masking requires a lot of mental energy and is associated with high levels of anxiety. As a socially anxious and autistic introvert, having to mask through daily social interactions quickly led to burnout. I tried to push through this burnout, but I know I need to prioritize my mental health.

While I have met many wonderful people throughout the course of operating Zero Waste Bulk, I am unable to keep up with the social demands of running a socially oriented business. My social battery is depleted, and these days I spend too much time worrying about successfully masking my autistic tendencies in order to be “likeable”.

Lately, I have become absorbed in new passions pulling me in other directions. Things like writing about my experience with autism and self studying everything that sparks my interest from quantum physics to psychology. 

Zero Waste Bulk needs a new owner who has the motivation to push the business forward while being passionate about community and the environment.

If you’re that person, please send us an email at

In any case, please help spread the word that Zero Waste Bulk is looking for a new owner!

Thanks to all of you for supporting us through this journey.

- Ellin (Founder of Zero Waste Bulk)