Updated July 28, 2020
New updates in Los Angeles!
Bulk food stores, or even bulk aisles, are amazing ways to save money and eliminate unnecessary packaging. The key to this is to bring your own reusable tote bags. If the weight of your bag is significant enough to effect the price, make sure to write the weight of the bag ON your bag, so the cashier can quickly and easily tare the weight off of the final price.
This is KEY to reducing waste. Simply buying bulk food to use one of the store’s thin plastic bags is not zero waste, and it is not sustainable. At that rate, it’s better to buy something packaged in compostable cardboard.
Some stores may offer compostable or biodegradable bags to use. To this I say, please only use them in an emergency, and only if your community is actually able to compost those materials, unless they can be composted in home composters– but in my experience, I have never found a ‘compostable’ plastic bag that I could compost in my backyard.
If you have had some trouble finding a bulk store in your area, even if you’re outside California, reach out to me. I might be able to locate one for you.
Here is a list I’ve compiled of stores around California that offer a variety of food in bulk:
*New* The Food Mill, Oakland – bulk and refill options
The Fillerup Shop, Morgan Hill – carries bulk refill household cleaners and body care products as well as reuse wares such as straws, cutlery, produce bags and more
Sigona’s Farmers Market – Redwood City and Palo Alto – small bulk foods, loose produce.
Suju’s Coffee, Fremont – HUGE bulk/loose tea section.
Mudlab, Oakland – zero waste grocery supplies
Mandela Grocery Co-op – West Oakland
Oaktown Spice Shop, Oakland
House Kombucha Taproom cafe/taproom – Berkeley
Olive This, Olive That – San Francisco (Return your bottle clean and dry and they will refill it for you and are very and give you $2 off each bottle!)
North Coast Coop San Francisco
Rainbow Coop San Francisco
Zanotto’s Market and Deli San Jose
The Source Zero San Jose, CA. *Zero Waste Supply Store*
Down To Earth Discount Nutrition (bulk herb section) San Jose
Smart & Final Extra! San Jose
Byrd’s Filling Station, San Mateo refillery and zero waste delivery service
Fillgood.co Albany CA; refill store and refill/delivery service
New Seasons Market – (bulk grains) – Evergreen
Country Sun Natural Foods Palo Alto
Steepers (bulk tea) Campbell
The Zero Shop (rebranding to Ethos)
True Olive Connection – Fresh, Artisan, Cold-Extracted Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Soap, Nevada City
Davis Food Coop, Davis
Draeger’s Menlo Park, San Mateo, Blackhawk, Los Altos
Sacramento Food Coop Sacramento
The Silo Pantry Various locations in NorCal
North Coast Coop Eureka, Ca
North Coast Coop Arcata, Ca
New Moon Natural Foods Truckee and Tahoe City, grocery
Grass Roots Natural Foods, South Lake Tahoe, grocery
Replenish Tahoe South Lake Tahoe, boutique refillery, package free personal care items
Refill Madness Sacramento
New Earth Market, Yuba City
Nature’s Kitchen, Yreka
Sunshine Health Foods, Morro Bay
Bambu Batu, San Luis Obispo (Central Coast)
The Secret Garden, San Luis Obispo (Central Coast)
*NEW* The Library Store, West Fifth Street, Los Angeles – package-free and zero waste items
Prostainable – Woodland Hills, Calabasas, Pacific Palisades, Hidden Hills Farmer’s Markets!
Wild Terra – Los Angeles – organic bulk herbs, teas, spices, oils, body care products, pantry staples, and more.
Reap & Sow – Oceanside – bulk, refill, and Terracycle options!
Isla Vista Food Co-op – Santa Barbara – bulk snacks, dry goods, baking supplies, herbs & spices, tea, soap, lotion, shampoo, and conditioner.
The Refill Shoppe – Ventura
The Nada Shop, Encinitas (bulk store & refillery)
Rainbow Acres Los Angeles
Sustain LA Los Angeles
Refillery Los Angeles
No Tox Life Los Angeles (near Atwater, Highland Park and Eagle Rock) *Zero Waste Supply Store*
BYO Long Beach, Long Beach
Long Beach Grocery Co-op, Long Beach
Ocean Beach People’s Food Ocean Beach
Coopportunity Market and Deli Santa Monica / Culver City
Organic Roots, Temecula
Mother’s Market, Anaheim Hills
Cookbook Market, LA (loose produce, bulk options)
Honey Hi bring your own takeaway containers
Todo Verde smoothie discounts for those who bring their own containers