South Minneapolis is Home to Minnesota's First Zero Waste Store

Tare Market, zero waste, zero waste store, zero waste shopping, zero waste groceries, south minneapolis zero waste store
“There’s no trash associated with shopping at Tare Market,” co-owner Amber Haukedahl says.

By: Anthony Brousseau

When Tare Market opens on East 38th Street, it will be Minnesota’s first zero waste store, according to co-owner Amber Haukedahl. But what does “zero waste” mean?

“There’s no trash associated with shopping at Tare Market,” Haukedahl says. Products are sold in bulk (bring your own container or borrow one from the shop) or in compostable or recyclable packaging.

Tare MarketCourtesy of Tare Market

The idea for Tare was sparked in 2017 when Haukedahl took a zero waste grocery shopping class at South Minneapolis’ Seward Co-op. She went in thinking, “What am I going to learn in two hours that I don’t already know?”

It turns out, quite a bit. Haukedahl says she never really thought about “the ramifications of our trash”—what happens to our garbage after we throw it away. She created a website—Zero Wasted—to further explore the idea, which eventually led to her meeting Kate Marnach—a local mother and environmentalist who founded Zeroish.org. The two developed the idea for Tare Market and have been working towards opening the store ever since (Marnach is co-owner with Haukedahl).

Tare MarketTare Market co-owners Kate Marnach (left) and Amber Haukedahl

Before deciding to open a permanent store, the two partnered with local businesses to hold a series of pop-up shops designed to gauge Minnesota’s interest in zero waste shopping.

“It was just insanely well-received,” Haukedahl says. “Sold out of a ton of products. People lined up around the block.”

Once the pop-ups proved the idea’s popularity, Haukedahl and Marnach turned to crowdfunding to open a brick and mortar location. And much like the pop-ups, the crowdfunding campaign was unimaginably successful, reaching its goal on day 12 of the 45-day campaign and finishing with even more than they asked for.

Tare Market’s home in City South was a deliberate decision—Haukedahl says she and Marnach wanted a location that was easily accessible, even to those without cars. The store is a block from the light rail and is on two major bus routes.

Additionally, the area around Tare Market is considered a “food dessert,” Haukedahl says, meaning residents don’t have easy access to quality food products.

“This community was actually needing a place where they could purchase food that was good for them,” she says. The food will be “as local as possible,” according to the website. And the store will sell more than food—“At Tare Market, you can shop for everything that you need in your everyday life," Haukedahl sayseverything from coffee filters to cleaning products to razors.

Tare MarketCourtesy of Tare Market

But Tare Market isn’t just about zero waste shopping—it’s also about education. To that end, Haukedahl, Marnach and other community members will host events and classes related to the topic, such as how to compost with worms in your apartment and how to mend your clothes. Some classes will be free, while others will be paid—Tare Market is working on a scholarship program for the paid events.

And those classes and events will be hosted “all over town” to allow more people to attend.

“You really want to instill the power in people to live sustainably and then they can go off and talk to people in their circle,” Haukedahl says. “If we can get a whole community to live zero waste, you can really make some changes.”

A true grand opening is set for April 19—that will be the first day Tare Market has ever opened its doors to shoppers. Regular hours will apply, and from 4-8 p.m. the shop will host a party as a thank you to the community for its support. Haukedahl says they’re expecting about 1,000 people in just that four-hour window.

“I would say that Minnesotans are really into this idea,” she says.

Tare MarketCourtesy of Tare Market

Just as the City South community has supported Tare Market, the shop hopes to offer support to the community, listening to the people’s wants, needs and ideas as it continues to evolve.

“Our mission is really to make sustainable living accessible and affordable to all Minnesotans,” she says, “and we want to be reflective of the community.”

Tare Market
2717 E. 38th Street, Minneapolis
Facebook: Tare Market
Instagram: @taremarket