Good news if you live in the GTA. Now we all can experience the Earth Market store after our work commutes. Earth Market is located in Newmarket, Ontario is currently open for business and growing during the lockdown. It all started with Jaime Upiter’s self-journey to discovering how to be a waste-conscious entrepreneur; she says, “I live in Newmarket, so I wanted something close to home and in a community that I already knew and loved”. It’s wise to set up shop near your hometown because you already have a lot of clientele you know you can direct to your store.
“We opened during the pandemic. We were originally looking at places when COVID hit, and everything shut down. We managed to brush it all off and keep going. We weren’t going to let this dream end that quickly! We have had a positive response from the community, even during these crazy times, and we hope that the business continues to grow no matter what is thrown at us.” That’s the kind of attitude to attain if you’re going to be a business owner, you can’t be a fortune teller, but you won’t achieve anything unless you believe in yourself.
The Earth Store is a brand-new bulk service that provides the necessities you would need, including jars and containers if you don’t have your own, “I was looking for a way to reduce the amount of plastic/packaging that came along with items I was buying. I found myself driving from store to store to find what I was looking for, and it was becoming increasingly frustrating. I decided the best solution was to create a place where people could find low waste products in one space. I have always wanted to run my own business, but it was difficult to drop everything and do it!. It’s a huge step and it can be intimidating.”
She looked to other sustainable businesses as inspiration for her discovery and start-up, “We follow several sustainable influencers on a day to day basis [online], but initially had much guidance from other zero-waste stores that already existed in other parts of Canada and within Ontario. The zero-waste community is very supportive!” It’s amazing how many environmental businesses look to now for inspiration compared to 20 years ago.
Upiter covers all your household needs under one roof. Anything you think you need, she’s got it, even seeds! “We sell a variety of low waste products including refillable bath/skincare, refillable cleaning products, bulk food, grocery (including some frozen food refills and oil/vinegar refills), refillable teas/spices, refillable vitamins, and eco-friendly products for your home and kitchen.” It feels good to know she focuses on your needs and not fillers you probably don’t need. It can feel overwhelming to go into a store for one or two items and come out with a mountain of products, not knowing if you can make the credit card payment that month.
Hitting a customer demographic doesn’t always go to plan, but that’s okay. It’s even better to have a variety of people take an interest in environmentally conscious businesses. It all starts with one person’s actions, after all. “We thought we would cater to mostly women between 20-35yrs old, but since opening the store, we have seen people from all walks of life through the store. Young people who may already know about low waste, young families trying to reduce their impact, and older couples are trying to learn about zero waste and asking lots of questions. It has been amazing to see so many people trying to do their part to help the environment”. I know I’m antsy to drop in and look for myself sometime. She even has taken the liberty to provide sorting stations for not used and used containers if you don’t have them on you.
I’ve always dreamed about going to a store where there is no plastic waste, you can scoop out all you can handle, and the people are down to earth, environmentally conscious. The only problem was, there was nothing like that close. Now there are stores opening that is aware of their carbon footprint and is doing something about it. Adding incentives to change our second nature habits while we shop, we used to reach for plastic bags, but now we reuse what we already have. If this company inspires you to do more on an individual level, check out her website loaded with resources and programs to better educate yourself and drop by the store to say hi.
Author: Kayla Stephens, Content Writer, Toronto, Canada. If you have any stories or comments, kindly email: – [email protected]