Unboxed Market is Toronto’s first grocery store to attempt to reduce their waste and packaging to zero.
That means you have to bring all your reusable Tupperware, mason jars and bags when you shop here.
The space has actually been home to a grocery store for over 50 years, and though it’s been completely remodelled with modern finishes, as much as possible has been upcycled from other businesses, like cash lanes, fridges and old school cash registers.
An area on the right side of the store just after entry is stocked with reusable bags and glass jars in 125ml to 1.9L sizes, all for a $2 deposit or purchase. A scale and set of instructions are also found here: weigh any vessel, write the weight on it with a wax pencil, and the price for everything in your containers is simply calculated at cash.
From there, it’s easy to purchase as little or as much as you want of, say, 2% milk ($2.19/L) or 3.25% milk ($2.29/L) from a Sealtest fridge, perfect for those who always find their milk spoiling and wasted when bought in larger quantities.
Pure is required to list their ingredients somewhere, so they offer reusable plastic containers. Recycled aluminum foil ($8.19) and various wax and cloth wraps are also in stock.
Pure products such as dish soap, laundry detergent, stain remover and ultra multi-purpose cleaner (about $6 - $9/L) are available in bulk from a spigot system at the front.
A front cafe area is perfect for grabbing a quick bite and coffee, or picking up something to wander around the store with.
Lattes are $4.50, and anything is 50 cents off if you bring your own mug.
Genuine Tea already packages their loose leaf (around $10/100g) in reusable containers.
An antipasto bar is stocked with several types of olives as well as other classics like anchovies and peppers.
There’s also a cheese and charcuterie counter, cheeses wrapped in plastic as it’s the only way to properly maintain their humidity. However, wrap is reused for the same type of cheese, and they’re looking for plastic wraps that could be more eco-friendly.
A hot table is one of many elements at Unboxed that’s been held over from the old grocery store but modernized, items changing daily and sold by weight.
A butcher counter retails solely Ontario meats, chorizo smoked downstairs in the industrial kitchen where all ready-made products are prepared.
Bulk organic eggs, olive oil, dry goods, and organic produce are just some of the many other products sold without packaging at Unboxed.