Scoop Marketplace in Kirkland is a 'Zero Waste Grocery Store.' It opened in 2018 (it’s been at this location since 2021) but this kind of shopping is how it used to be done, back before every human generated 4.4 lbs of trash per day.
“Oh yeah, this is nothing new,” said owner Stephanie Lentz. “I always say we're just reviving the shopping methods of generations past to give ourselves a healthier hereafter.”
Lentz became a zero-waste grocer after becoming a mom.
“It was a journey, like anything else, but after becoming parents we really started reducing waste in the household and just being extra careful with different products, different ingredients, stuff like that,” she said.
She had also seen shops in Europe that sold bulk foods with very little packaging and thought that it was a model that would work well in Seattle.
Customers bring in their own containers or purchase new or repurposed ones at Scoop Marketplace. Then, they fill them with whatever they need from lentils to laundry detergent. What they don't get is packaging.
Michelle Miller, a green marketing consultant, has been shopping package free for five years.
“Every small step adds up,” she said.
Molly Clark shops regularly here with her family.
“It's local, it's sustainable, it's a company I want to support, she's a woman with a vision, she's a busy mom. She could do so many other things with her time yet she's investing in this store. So I want to invest in her,” Clark said.
Clark’s son Kevin Duffy comes for the chocolate almonds, and to help the planet.
“It's important because you're kind of like saving the future,” he said.
You can also order online — they offer carbon-neutral shipping. Memberships are offered for additional savings, and Scoop Marketplace has subscription ‘Swap Boxes.’ This place will also help you recycle; there are collection bins for some of the plastic packaging from conventional markets.
Some 'Scoop' products have a following: pre-mixed soups and cookie batches in Mason jars, bulk powdered laundry, and dishwashing detergent, and bulk laundry ‘Podds’ are popular. And Lentz is particularly proud of the reusable menstrual products her market stocks.
So — the big question — can you get all your groceries at Scoop Marketplace?
They don't sell meat here. They do source locally and organically. There are some off-the-beaten-path finds like 'buffalo mushroom jerky.' And toilet 'unpaper.' And just recently, they added Sweet Alchemy vegan ice cream to their inventory.
“We've got coffee, we've got tea, we've got chocolate we've got toothpaste, we've got toilet paper! We've got it all here!” Lentz laughed.
But the best thing about this market is what you don’t get — excess packaging.
Sustainable shopping doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Lentz suggests making a store like Scoop your first shopping stop to begin experimenting with less waste. The only byproduct at Scoop Marketplace is a calm shopping experience, filled with the satisfying feeling of getting just what’s necessary, and nothing more.
"Bring those dollars to a small local business that's committed to being a beneficial presence in the world,” Lentz smiled.
Scoop Marketplace is located at 9743 N.E. 119th Way, Kirkland, WA 98034 and is open from 10 to 6 daily.