CAN (ON): How a grocery store delivers hydroponic greens year-round without any packaging

NU Grocery is the first zero-waste grocery store in Ottawa. Instead of picking up pre-packaged items to unwrap at home, customers scoop their own pasta, fill jars with coffee beans, or warm-up beeswax wrap to preserve a piece of cheese. The store’s mission is to avoid single-use packaging and offer sustainable products only in the quantities needed.

That’s why it was important to find a supplier that fit their needs and vision. The Growcer partnered with NU Grocery to provide package-free, locally grown produce year-round.

“The Growcer is a perfect example of a local supplier with a social cause,” explains Sia.

Sia Veeramani is the co-founder and COO of NU Grocery. The main question on her mind when starting a relationship with any supplier is the packaging. “If they can find a way to make and bring their product to the customer without waste it’s a deal.”

Being only one kilometre away, The Growcer’s container farm was a perfect fit. Instead of receiving baby spinach in a plastic clamshell, every week The Growcer delivers hydroponically grown leafy greens in bulk in a reusable container to the store. Customers are able to buy local produce such as spinach, kale, arugula, and basil, with a minimal impact on the environment. 

“For our zero-waste mission, it’s important to work with local suppliers or even micro-local suppliers like The Growcer, because it enables us to have a packaging exchange program. This is of course in addition to supporting the local economy and other social causes, like food security in the North.”

For customers in one of Canada’s coldest cities, The Growcer’s profitable growing system allows for fresh locally-grown greens to be available all year round. 

Read more at The Growcer (Alida Burke)

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