Shopping Small, Now and Always

Supporting local businesses is always an important feat, but now especially, with so many places not able to sell as they usually do. When we think of small businesses, we often only think of restaurants, salons, and shops...but don’t forget local food markets and co-ops! Most areas have a local grocer that is congruous to the big-name stores and it is important to give them love and business in these crazy times.

Weaver’s Way Co-op is an incredible market in the Philly area (Mt. Airy and Chestnut Hill, to be specific) that has all of your food needs in a completely sustainable way! It is a grocery store where you can buy local and organic products as well as buy in bulk. You can bring your own jars and measure everything out to the exact amount you need. I’ve bought pasta, snacks, rice, coffee, olive oil, honey, and peanut butter without using plastic containers! For things like soap and detergent, I bring the empty bottle from a generic brand and just fill that one up.

It is so easy to shop sustainably if you know the right places to go and the right things to use. Start by cleaning out empty jars from things like tomato sauce, apple sauce, and salsa, and make a stockpile so that you’re ready for your next trip to the supermarket. If you forget your jars at home, or run out, the store has plenty you can buy as well. As well as providing jars, the store also carries various sizes of paper bags for free. All you have to do is weigh out how much product you’re buying on the little scales set up around the store and you’re all set to pay and be on your way!

I went food shopping there this week to see how the store was doing in terms of business due to COVID-19. The line to wait was much shorter than ones I had seen at big brand supermarkets like Trader Joe’s. The main thing that had changed was you could no longer bring your own jars and could only buy new owns there or use the paper bags. Once all this craziness is over, they will go back to bring your own jars, so start your stockpile now!