TPHS alumna to open plastic free grocery store

TPHS alumna Katie Fletcher (‘13) plans to open Local Scoop: Package-Free Food and Fair in downtown Encinitas, introducing the first waste-free grocery store to North County.

Fletcher has not yet announced the opening date of her store. Local Scoop, which will share a space
with another holistic business, focuses on lowering grocery-shopping costs, providing healthy food options and cutting down packaging waste.

“[Produce] is not going to come in that little black container with the seran-wrap over the top,” Fletcher said. “You just grab the plant.”

To offer these unconventional environmentally-friendly foods, Local Scoop will provide new ways
for customers to shop. These options include allowing customers to bring their own jars and containers, buying one of the store’s specialty cork-topped jars or filling a fully-compostable bag.

With the goal of making Local Scoop “as close to a normal grocery store as possible,” Fletcher plans to provide shoppers with products and services that are infrequently thought of as “zero-waste.” The store will feature staples like dried goods, beans, rice, nuts, seeds and granolas, as well as fresh produce. Local Scoop will also house a cold bar for products like hummus, cream cheese, ketchup and mustard; food that, to Fletcher, are “really hard for people to imagine as waste-free.”

“Knowing that everything is ethically and locally sourced as well as zero-waste [is important],” Pilar Purvis (10), co-president of TPHS Urth Club, said. “[Urth Club] looks forward to supporting this local business.”

Being the first store of its kind in the North County area, Fletcher’s inspiration for its concept traces back to her upbringing in Solana Beach and college experience in Australia. While studying in Australia, she came across waste-free bulk grocery stores and, after returning to San Diego, became
curious as to why such eco-friendly stores did not exist in her hometown.

“I had a moment of clarity, realizing that the only way to address my deepest concerns [with] our food system was to contribute my own solutions,” Fletcher said.

Local Scoop was the solution.

“I’ve been shocked by how excited people have been,” Fletcher said. “Obviously venturing out on my own has been challenging … [but] having people freak out when they hear the idea is that confidence boost to say, ‘I’m going to keep going.’”

This excitement extends onto TPHS’s campus.

“I am excited by the opportunity Local Scoop offers,” TPHS Urth Club Co-President Charlotte Sachs (10) said. “[It is] a great example of what a human to food relationship should look like.”

Fletcher hopes to transform Local Scoop into more than just a place to shop, but also into a community space for educational events about healthy living.

“At this stage, the way [most people] eat is not sustainable,” she said. “[Our focus is on] protecting all the things that make San Diego, San Diego.”

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