Lately, it feels like we've been talking about food waste as much as we have... you know. Food.
There's the new Colita in south Minneapolis, where the cocktails are as inventive as the zero-waste bar program. In November, we wrote about places like Bardo and Urban Forage that are turning once-discarded scraps into ciders and simple syrups. Just days ago, in the CP People Issue, we profiled the produce rescuers behind Twin Cities Food Justice.
So maybe it's not so surprising that Tare Market—the first waste-free grocer in the state, and one of only a few in the country—just announced it will open in Minneapolis later this year. It's heading for 2717 E. 38th St., blocks from the 38th Street Station Blue Line stop.
Tare comes from co-founders Kate Marnach and Amber Haukedahl, who each spent some time running zero-waste blogs (zeroish.org and zerowasted.net, respectively). They were already talking about the lifestyle at events around the Twin Cities, where they were constantly getting queries on where to find things like plastic-free deodorant or reusable straws.
The answer they had to give was a bummer: Locally, that option wasn't really available. And that's why the pair decided to start Tare.
"Residents of the Twin Cities are forward-thinking individuals who care about the environment and future generations to come," Haukedahl tells us. As proof, their pop-up classes—"Zero Waste Grocery Shopping," "Cut the Clutter: Minimalism for Your Busy Life"—often sell out, and folks have been clamoring for more. "People here appreciate the natural environment and want to fight climate change and make a difference."
Tare Market will have a large bulk section stocked with shelf-stable staples: oats, flour, pasta, coffee, tea, spices. They'll carry tough-to-find DIY-friendly ingredients like essential oils and bulk shea butter, and since zero-waste makeup is all but impossible to find, they're tracking down vendors who can supply bulk health and beauty products.
But how does it work?
Easy! To shop at Tare Market, you BYO cloth bags, jars, and other reusable vessels, or you can borrow and return some of theirs. Marnach and Haukedahl realize this is a new thing, and they'll be happy to help zero-waste newbies navigate the store and learn how to tare—or take the unladen weight of—their own containers before filling 'em up.
Shopping here will mean more than just creating less trash, too. "We are also making sure that ingredients for products are sourced sustainably, harmful ingredients are avoided, and workers are paid a fair wage," Haukedahl says. They're sourcing locally whenever possible—MN vendors HiBar and Twiggy Fresh will supply plastic-free shampoo/conditioner bars and bamboo toothbrushes—and they'll offer lots of organic products.
Do you dare to Tare? You'll have to wait until April—that's when the waste-eliminating duo hopes the market will open. An Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign is planned to kick off March 1.
[Update, 2/19/2019: After initial interest in Tare was off the charts, they launched their crowdfunding campaign early. They've raised 29 percent of their $15,000 goal in a little over 24 hours.]
In the meantime, those curious about reducing their trashy footprint can stop by Tare Market pop-ups at Keg and Case Market (February 23) and Tattersall Distilling (February 24).
2717 E. 38th St., Minneapolis