Sustainable Goods for All

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Roots Zero Waste Market

By Chelsea Chambers
Photos Emma Thompson

It is estimated that each year in the US alone, nearly 300 million pounds of trash is dumped into landfills, with more than 300,000 tons of that being plastic. And even more shocking, is 40 million of that total number is attributed directly to food waste.

Roots co-owners and power couple, Lea Rainey and Zach Yunker, were fed up with watching so much unnecessary waste get tossed out simply due to a lack of better options. “Our personal frustration inspired us to come up with a solution, to not only help us and our immediate community eliminate waste, but to disrupt and change the harmful business practices of traditional grocery stores as a whole. Roots is the first and only full service Organic Zero Waste Grocery Store and Café in the US. It’s a model we hope to share and grow, to facilitate a rapid improvement to the global climate crisis of plastic and food waste pollution, one grocery cart at a time,” explained Lea, when asked what inspired the couple to start this journey.

So what exactly is a “Zero Waste Grocery Store” and what does it look like? Zach and Lea pride themselves in creating an environment that does not contribute to the rapidly rising landfills or painfully-polluted oceans. Their neighborhood grocery store offers “healthy bulk foods, fruits, and vegetables, refillable household cleaning and personal care products, as well as full-service deli items and freshly prepared meals.” All without harmful packaging!

Located in the heart of Garden City, 3308 W. Chinden Blvd, Roots is the perfect pedal-up place while you’re out and about and has also become quite the community-meeting hub. “We love seeing our community and neighbors pedal and park in our ample bike parking with panniers or trailers or walk up with their bags and do their daily shopping in bulk. We have also built great partnerships with other businesses and artists near to us in Garden City and love the comradery of working together to bring attention to this long over-looked part of the Boise Valley. We’ve also started our community garden and have been really happy to share this free food with our neighbors. We already can’t wait to see how this garden grows our community together,” Lea shared excitedly.

The market is open seven days a week and offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner for take-out, socially-distanced dine-in, or patio seating (weather permitting, of course). The shop looks forward to celebrating their one-year anniversary, with a much smaller celebration than originally anticipated. Instead of a party, Roots will be offering delicious, fresh-baked huckleberry sweets and treats! Keep an eye on their website and social media for more information @rootszerowastemarket.

Their online site, rootszerowastemarket.com, also has a list of stocked items, prices, and specials to look for before you go!

Thanks, Lea and Zach, for protecting our natural environment, supporting our community, and offering the Treasure Valley nothing but high-quality, delicious, and sustainable goods!

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