Zero Waste and Pay What You Can Grocery Store Field Trip – Saturday July 13, 2019

Posted by St. James Town Community Co-op on Monday, July 15, 2019

We visited 2 alternative type of grocery stores in July:

Volunteers from the co-op wanted to see what options there are once we open our own food store and what kind of models we can use ourselves. We love the concept of a grocery store where you have to bring your own containers and you get to top up what you need, thereby both reducing waste from purchase and even food waste at home! Likewise, the pay what you can grocery store offers an interesting pricing model which can be applied in neighbourhoods with a wide range of income level so that everyone can access healthy food.

It definitely helped us think about accessibility and sustainable in the food process — both important components in a full cycle food hub, and sparked conversations among those of us who went. We’re excited to see new alternative models of grocery store pop up in Toronto as people experiment with different possibilities of reducing our impact on the planet while keeping our communities healthy!

Here’s a short reflection from a volunteer who went on the trip:

My visit to Unboxed Market with the co-op was my first ever visit to a zero-waste grocery store. It was great to experience the store’s organization which allows everyone to weigh and mark their personal reusable containers before filling them with groceries of their choice. The variety of foods available and the dispensing mechanisms for each item were also worth noting for me. I’m excited to cook the bit of basmati rice I got there! 

Joining the co-op on this field trip also introduced me to the idea of PWYC grocery stores. Visiting Feed It Forward was quite special and I’m curious to learn more about them, how they relate to the greater food ecosystem, and their vision of the future.

See more photos here:

Cooking Workshop Recap – July 25, 2019

We held a cooking workshop on July 25th, 2019 as part of our community thursdays this summer at The New Common. Those who attend made delicious soups and got to take some home for themselves to enjoy as well as recipes and knowledge of how to remake them at home.

Our wonderful volunteer, Petra, facilitated the workshop and had a few words to say about the whole event:

The cooking class held at The Common as part of the Thursday night drop-ins was a big success with over 10 in attendance!!
The inspiration behind the refreshing summer soups was to discuss and demonstrate how we can work with what is in season and what is in our fridges! None of these recipes need to be followed exactly, use them as a guidelines. Even though cold soups are less well know, they are such a treat once discovered on unusually hot days! I made the cucumber and gazpacho ahead and stuck them in the freezer for a quick chill and demonstrated the vichyssoise in class. This was eaten hot.
I offered lots of cooking tips, short cuts, and ways of adding items to make it closer to one owns home style cooking including adding Indian Spices for the cucumber soup.
More classes to come, please let us know with suggestions of what you would like in the fall.
If you’d like to lead a cooking workshop/volunteer for the co-op in running a Community Event, let us know at See here for more pictures: