A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of sitting down with Christian Lane, co-founder of in.gredients, a new grocery store that will soon open its doors in Austin. But it isn’t just any grocery store, it will be the first package-free, zero-waste grocery store in the United States. The store will allow customers to bring their own reusable containers to fill with local and organic groceries, including seasonal produce, grains, spices, coffees/teas, meats, dairy, beer, wine, and much more. All products will be organic, all-natural, and sourced from local vendors when possible.
Packaging makes up 40 percent of municipal waste streams in the US, and nearly all the food we buy in the grocery store is packaged. The goal of in.gredients is to provide a better alternative, eliminating food-related waste while supporting local businesses and farmers. The founders hope the concept promotes opportunities for people to learn the benefits of eating well, ways to reduce waste at home, and how easy it can be to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.
“We are at a tipping point in terms of sustainability,” Lane said. “I think we have some real momentum going, and now is the time for us to start transitioning into that a bit more, more so than just at a personal consumption level. At home you can recycle and do some other things, but what we want to do is facilitate and make an approach to zero waste more feasible.”
While the exact location is still being kept a secret, we do know that it will be located in East Austin. “The reason we want to do the East side is because we think that area is underserved from a grocery perspective,” Lane said. “We are focusing on a specific area of the East side, which we think is ideal. We think that area is thirsty for this sort of thing and the community is going to embrace it.”
In addition to providing an alternative to traditional supermarket-style shopping, in.gredients will offer cooking classes and gardening activities on-site, and host a variety of community-oriented events geared toward promoting healthy living.
“We care about the health of our customers and our local food economy,” Lane said.
“We’re prioritizing ‘reduce, reuse, then recycle’ and maximizing farmer revenue. We want
this to be a fun and insightful experience for everyone, and hope this can springboard new
ideas about how we can make grocery shopping even more sustainable.”
Earlier today in.gredients reported some exciting news in their latest newsletter:
We’re happy to report a very healthy IndieGoGo campaign. We’ve raised just over $9,000 of the $15,000 we need to jump-start renovations to our storefront! Thanks to all who’ve supported us.
We’ll begin releasing hints (“Easter eggs”) of our location on Monday, so keep an eye on our blog, Facebook, and Twitter. You may want to brush up on your I Spy and riddle-solving skills, too. The answer will be revealed Friday morning, live on KVUE News Daybreak in the 6:00 hour – and will arrive in your inboxes at almost the same time.
Where we’re at and where we’re headed: After announcing our location, we’ll begin the contruction and renovation phase – which will last until our opening. In the meantime, we’ll begin lining up our local vendors, using the money we raise on IndieGoGo to take care of our gardens, rainwater collection, and community-minded areas, and showing off the first-ever in.gredients T-shirt (get excited!). We’ll also begin posting plenty of practical content on our blog for those interested in making their everyday lives more sustainable.
Get more information at in.gredients.com.