Vancouver is now home to the country's first package-free grocery store. After years of planning, fundraising, and waiting, Nada has opened its doors in Mount Pleasant.
Nada is a social venture that began a few years back when founder and CEO Brianne Miller was working as a marine biologist, and saw first-hand the negative impact of plastic in the ocean.
Miller launched a series of zero-waste pop-up markets to test the waters and built the Nada team before she ultimately secured the 2,332-square-foot site at the busy intersection of Fraser Street and East Broadway.
After months of construction, Nada opened its doors on Wednesday, June 20.
"This store is the result of over two years of learning from our customers,” says Miller in a media release. "We know now how enthusiastic Vancouverites are about the zero waste movement and are excited to offer space where it is more accessible and efficient to shop this way, both while reducing waste and supporting a more just food system.”
Customers at Nada will find everything from produce to frozen and refrigerated items, along with deli items, liquids (think oils and honey), dry goods, baked goods, cleaning supplies, and personal care items--including many things that have been to-date hard to obtain plastic- or package-free.
There is a focus on stocking as much local, organic, and responsibly-sourced goods as possible, so shoppers will see other Vancouver social enterprise brands like East Van Roasters and Hives for Humanity carried at Nada.
Customers can bring their own containers, which are weighed using a custom-designed in-house tech system in a fast, easy, and convenient manner.
Every year, Vancouverites send 100,000 tons of food and packaging waste to
landfill, and Miller and the Nada team hope to be part of a changing tide in consumer behaviour.
"It’s not just a sustainability initiative," Miller claims, "we’re tapping into a consumer base who wants to be connected to their food, learn about the impact of their purchases, and lessen their individual footprints."
Nada, the name, by the way, simply means "nothing." But this kind of grocery store can certainly mean a lot to Vancouver and the environment.
Nada is located at 675 East Broadway and is open 10 am to 7 pm daily (closed on statutory holidays).