Where to buy bulk foods in Vancouver

Here’s a topic we’ve visited before: the idea of food waste. Food waste can take all shapes and sizes, but has one thing in common- it can be eliminated.

One way to watch our waste is by purchasing items in bulk, rather than in packages. Not only are we able to dictate the quantity that we want (a pinch of spice, for example) but buying in bulk also provides us the opportunity to reuse or recycle food bags and jars rather than bringing more plastic waste into our homes.

Image from FrenchyFancy

This happened to me recently: I was on UBC campus at Grocery Checkout, a new shop in The Nest that sells fresh produce, healthy snacks, gourmet yogurts, and snacks in bulk. I was stocking up on some Kits Beach trail mix (which I highly recommend!) and decided to try to use a jar I had on me that day. I asked the cashier to weigh the jar before I filled it up, and when I paid, he simply deducted the weight of the jar from the total weight. The manager was intrigued with this idea and suggested the possibility of an incentive system for people reusing containers or bags, and even adding a Grocery Checkout-branded jar for purchase. He stated that a system like this would be in line with the university’s sustainability focus.

There are so many opportunities for us to initiate conversations about minimizing waste and being smarter about the way we eat and shop! In Vancouver, we’re lucky to live in a place where bulk foods are an option. Below, we’ve compiled a list of websites and addresses of different grocery stores in the region where you can find some affordable, organic, and bulk ingredients.

Famous Foods - 1595 Kingsway

Zero Waste Market - pop up locations announced regularly, check their Facebook page for updates!

Persia Foods - all locations here

Organic Acres Market - 3603 Main Street

Kitsilano Natural Foods - 2696 W Broadway

Weigh To Go Bulk Foods  - 3534 41st Avenue W

The Produce Co - 2951 West Broadway

Donald’s Market - Hastings-Sunrise (2342 E Hastings St); Commercial Drive (2279 Commercial Drive); New West (810 Quayside Dr); Coquitlam (2627 Shaughnessy St)

Choices Markets - store Locations here

East End Food Coop - 1034 Commercial Drive

Ayoub’s - North Vancouver (1332 Lonsdale Avenue); Downtown (986 Denman Street); Kitsilano (2048 West 4th Avenue); Coquitlam (#150 - 2950 Glen Dr); Burnaby (#134 - 6550 Hastings St)

Grocery Checkout - 6133 University Boulevard (UBC)

Bulk Barn (New Westminster) - 805 Boyd Street

Nourish Market - #143-1233 Lynn Valley Road

One-O-One Deli & Bulk Foods - 3046 Main Street Vancouver

Before heading bulk grocery shopping, we encourage you to do the following preparation: weigh your jars and label with the weight (this will make your shopping easier) and take out reusable food bags for filling up. Once you’ve returned, label all of the ingredients you’ve purchased, like in the photo below!

Image from Pinterest

Do you have a favourite bulk foods place that’s not mentioned above? Please let us know in the comments section!

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