First zero waste store set to open in Minneapolis

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Two Minneapolis women are doing something that’s never been done before in the Twin Cities or in Minnesota.

They are opening the first zero waste store.

At Tare Market on 38th Street in Minneapolis, you won’t find any plastic or packaging when they open in April.

The owners say it’s all about reducing waste by changing the way we shop. It’s a market in the making based on a way of living that’s gaining traction in the Twin Cities.

“It’s a package-free and plastic-free space,” said Amber Haukedahl, a co-founder of Tare Market. “So, what that means is customers can come into our space, shop and buy their everyday products they need to live, but they won’t have any waste associated with their grocery shopping.”

Co-owners Kate Marnach and Haukedahl found their way into the waste-free world recently. Marnach, a mother of three, knew she needed to make a change.

“There was a day that came that I looked at our trash and how often we were taking it out and even my car being full of wrappers and thought, ‘This is not okay,’” Marnach said.

Both women had zero waste blogs and met through this common interest.

“We got to talking and both of us were like, hey, we should open a store,” Marnach added. “Because we don’t have the types of resources around here that would be awesome for people trying to reduce their waste.”

It’s an idea months and years in the making. They’ve been holding pop-up shops with zero waste products to gauge interest and listen.

“People really wanted access to bulk foods so shelf stable items, rice oats and grains and things like sustainable living products like bamboo cutlery and reusable straws,” said Haukedahl.

If all this sounds like a foreign language, don’t worry. Tare Market will meet you where you are.

“So, we don’t want to shame people and say, ‘Oh, you create trash so you can’t shop here,’” said Haukedahl. “We just want to help people live sustainably within their means.”

The duo is crowdfunding to raise some money for the store, which kicked off Monday. Since then, they’ve reached 60 percent of their $15,000 goal, so it appears they have good support.

Tare Market will open over Earth Day weekend in April, around April 19.