The nation’s first experiment in zero-waste grocery shopping is over. On April 25, In.gredients — the Manor Road shop known for its strict commitment to sustainability — announced in a statement that April 27 will be the shop's final day in business.
“Well folks, it's not easy being green,” the statement read. “To be honest, we're heartbroken. But don't lose heart. For over five years, we have diverted waste from landfills, supported local growers and artisans, brought people together, and helped Cherrywood live a little bit healthier.”
The small grocer at 2610 Manor Rd. made global headlines when it opened in 2012 with an entirely package-free model. In 2014, In.gredients shifted focus, allowing some packaged items to appear on shelves and coolers, while still being mindful of waste and local sourcing.
During that time, the tiny grocer became more than just a shop. With a calendar full of yoga, live music, children’s programming, and the occasional block party, In.gredients evolved into a beloved community hub for Austin’s green set.
In early 2017, the team reached out to fans through a crowdfunding campaign. Even though business was brisk throughout 2016, rising property taxes and other economic factors forced the owners to seek help. That campaign raised $30,928, slightly exceeding the initial goal.
In the statement, In.gredients encouraged patrons to keep up the good fight. “The zero-waste movement is still growing. Since we came on the scene as the nation's first zero-waste grocery store, many more have sprung up all over the country. We must all continue to choose and demand local, sustainably sourced, ethically manufactured, and responsibly (un)packaged products. It's not possible for this country, or this planet, to continue with business as usual for long”
As for the next chapter of the property, the owners said Austin will just have to wait. “We can't say for certain what comes next for our little slice of heaven on Manor Road,” the statement read, “but we're excited for the possibilities.”