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Austin’s in.gredients, a zero packaging grocery store, to open Fall 2011

published on September 5, 2011

Austin is no stranger to innovative, interesting businesses that not only make living here great but also help make the world a better place. There’s now a new kid on the block, joining the pantheon of unique businesses that will make an impact in Austin and also a huge splash nationwide. Once its doors open this fall, in.gredients will be the nation’s first package free and zero waste grocery store.

So what, exactly, does that mean, and why is it important? The majority of in.gredient’s products will have zero packaging and will be available to customers in bins and other containers, much like the bulk foods sections in other stores. On occasion, some items may come in packaging because of food safety reasons. This way of doing business changes the little 3 R’s model we all know and love, placing the importance of reducing and reusing out front, so that the recycling part of the model becomes much less necessary.

They recently announced that their first store will be located at 2610 Manor Road in east Austin, a real estate area that is underserved when it comes to fresh, wholesome, sustainable products. Of course, it’s the products that are at the heart of the store and will include seasonal produce, grains, spices, baking ingredients, oils, coffees, teas, meats, dairy, beer, wine, and household cleaners. When possible, each product will be organic, all-natural, and sourced from local vendors.

But don’t worry, if you happen to stop by on a whim and forget your containers, they won’t judge you or make you carry your food home in your pockets; you can use the compostable containers that they have inside the store. Hopefully, though, shoppers will get in the habit of keeping a set of precycle dishes in their car in the same way we’ve gotten in the habit of keeping our reusable shopping bags with us.

This extremely admirable and ambitious goal will be executed by Brothers Lane, LLC, a small Austin company owned by Christian, Patrick, and Joseph Lane and their “brothers in spirit” Christopher Pepe and Brian Nunnery. This won’t be their first major endeavor, as the brothers have a history of starting and managing successful businesses ranging from software to sustainability. Their first bit of success with this project has already come with the avalanche of media who have covered their story. TIME magazine, ABC, and The New York Times are just a few outlets who have already been talking about in.gredients. “At first all of the major media coverage was overwhelming because it was so much at once,” Christian Lane recounts, “But it’s been really, really great coverage.”

Austin Realtor Brian Talley is very excited to see what the new store will be like, once it opens. “This is such a wonderfully green and forward thinking approach these guys are putting out there, and it doesn’t surprise me one bit that the first store like this to exist was conceived of and will spring to life in Austin.”

If you’re like Brian and can’t wait until the store opens, you can get involved and be part of this truly historic business by volunteering. Just go to their website for information about how to get involved.

If you want to live in one of Austin’s increasingly innovative, caring, and green communities where you’ll find inspiration like the Lane Brothers did, you’ll want to talk to Brian Talley about your Austin home search.

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