Zero Waste Grocery Trend Alert: Buy Only What You Need Inside Unboxed Market

Here in Toronto’s first package-free zero-waste store, you can buy almost everything that benefits both the environment and your wallet

The trend of package-free zero-waste shopping has emerged (re-emerged?) in recent years. However, this was how people bought groceries in the 19th century, before the marketing of brands and packages. Two centuries later, when concerns about climate change and pollution grow, we find ourselves going back to the original shopping style.

So what benefits do zero waste stores offer? For one, buying food from bulk containers reduces plastic waste. Secondly, it is also more economical as we can choose exactly the amount that we need. Together, these two rationales lay the foundation for Unboxed Market – Toronto’s first zero waste grocery store.

Herbs and spices on sale at Unboxed Market - Toronto's First zero waste grocery store
Image by Laura Mitulla

Founded by Michelle Genttner & Luis Martins in February 2019, Unboxed Market aims to solve the problematic throw-away lifestyle and rebuild the connection and appreciation between people and their food. After a long time working in the hospitality industry, the two decided to open their own business that would reflect their philosophy and inspire others to reduce waste.

“It was the restaurant life that opened our eyes: not just to the disconnect that many people today have with their food, but also to the incredible amounts of unnecessary waste that occur every day,” Genttner and Martins stated on Unboxed Market’s website, Toronto’s first-ever zero waste grocery store. 

Zero waste products on sale at Unboxed Market - Toronto's First zero waste grocery store
Image by Anna Oliinyk

Being a one-stop refillery store with zero waste, Unboxed Market offers various products, from food, household items to personal care and hot-served meals.

From breakfast with a cup of coffee, a slice of toast and omelet, to a healthy salad at dinner or a delicious dessert on the weekend, the Toronto-based grocery store offers all the pantry staples and fresh produce you might need.

To minimize waste, these products are sourced daily from Ontario’s local farmers and are only refilled after they are out of stock. Remember to bring your own reusable bag, bottles or containers when visiting the store.

Similarly, don’t throw away the empty plastic jug once you run out of dish soap, detergent or shampoo. In Unboxed Market, there will be a tap-wall, full of cleaning or personal-care liquid that you can refill your empty bottles with.

Last but not least, at Café Corner, Unboxed Market treats you with house-made dishes that you can eat in-store or bring home. Coffee, baked goods, or savory dishes such as steak, lasagna, and chicken parm, are ready if you don’t feel like cooking.


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