BEDFORD, NH – Manchester area residents will get a chance to check out the area’s first zero-waste grocery store, if they already haven’t, when Live Free Refillery holds a grand opening Thursday.
The store, at 460 Route 101, opened July 5 in the Bedford West shopping plaza at the former site of Wicked Good Butchahs, which moved down the street to 209 Route 101 in 2021.
The official grand opening is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, with a ribbon-cutting at 3:30 p.m. and other events throughout the day.
Owner Juliette Buell, with 15 years of experience in agriculture, created Live Free Refillery to share her passion for food and the environment with the community.
To eliminate single-use plastic packaging, everything at the store is in reusable, recyclable or biodegradable packaging. Buell says it is the first zero-waste grocery store in New Hampshire. The store sells dry goods, produce, dairy, body care, cleaning supplies and other merchandise, much of it sourced from local makers, farms and organic agriculture.
Plastic waste is one of the biggest environmental threats to the planet, and Buell wanted to provide an opportunity for consumers to do more to help reduce it, according to a news release announcing the grand opening.
“It can take hundreds of years to biodegrade and there is no easy way to dispose of it,” the store’s website says. “Only 9% of plastic is recycled, 12% is incinerated, and the other 79% is landfilled or littered into the environment. Over 300 million tons of plastic is created each year worldwide. Half of this is made to be used for a few brief moments as single-use disposable items such as beverage bottles, straws, packaging, service ware, food wrappers, and plastic bags. Let that sink in.”
Customers can use free paper packaging available in the store, buy glass jars that they can keep to reuse (the store’s website offers tips on how to make sure they’re clean and sanitized), or return later and get money back.
Events during Thursday’s grand opening include free snack samples from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., including coffee and tea that is sold at the store from A&E Coffee and Tea. There will be raffle giveaways all day, and the first 15 people to arrive will get a free Live Free Refillery canvas tote bag.
The store is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.