KIRKLAND, Wash. — Scoop Marketplace in Kirkland is rising from the ashes - literally.
The unique, zero-waste grocery store is reopening after a kitchen fire shut the business down in the midst of pandemic-related complications.
Founder Stephanie Lentz said she was already struggling to keep her small business alive due to extraordinary permitting delays and funding complications.
“Grocery stores are high risk anyways, and then I have this whacky unfamiliar business idea for a zero-waste grocery store and [the bank was] like, ‘I don’t know what you're talking about… I don’t think that’s a good investment,'" explained Lentz.
However, Lentz persevered and was able to open the grocery store aligned with her family's values around sustainable and healthy living.
"We are on a mission to normalize zero-waste grocery shopping and are passionate about teaching people how to improve the quality of their lives while learning to walk more gently on the planet,” she said.
Bulk foods are offered in reusable containers, and household products range from bamboo dish brushes to chemical-free detergents and soaps. Even reusable feminine products offer an alternative to traditional single-use products.
Lentz focuses on sourcing and supporting ethical businesses with an emphasis on small, local and minority-owned vendors.
She is also looking to give other people hoping to open their own sustainable businesses a leg up. Lentz offers a unique eight-week digital course that teaches "ecopreneurs" how to open their own zero-waste businesses.
More than 40 people have taken the course, and some local grads include Aline Block, who created a mobile “Out of the Box Eco Store” that delivers earth-conscious products to residents on the east side. Another graduate is opening “Mimi’s Zero Waste Market” in Ballard this week.
The finishing reopening touches are underway at Scoop Marketplace in Juanita this week, and the door is open for package-free groceries, zero-waste lifestyle products and home care goods.