Soothing the soul and helping the environment

Along West King Street in St. Augustine, Florida, is an eco-friendly shop called The Local Refillery.

Spices, nuts, coffees, grains, oils and other organic goodies line the walls of the store, which advocates zero-waste shopping. That means customers bring in their own containers or buy reusable containers when they want to stock up on necessities.

The shop also offers a refill station of all-natural home care products such as liquid laundry detergent, all-purpose cleaner, dish soap and dishwasher gel – all that can be stored in reusable containers.

“The reason we are doing the refillable items is to limit the plastic packaging waste that is going into the landfill,” said Jon Veniard, whose company is called Cultivate Tea & Spice. “Every food item we have, we are unique in the sense that we use certified organic ingredients. We are trying to do everything in house to control the integrity of the ingredients.”

He joined with representatives of two other companies – Jared Bastin of Peace in a Nutshell and Diane Lee of the CBD Supply House – to create The Local Refillery in November 2019.

“Our main goal is we want to support other local businesses. We are either looking for it to be a local product or if it’s not local, we are looking for eco-friendly,” Veniard said.

The Local Refillery hopes to raise awareness of the importance of caring for the environment.

“Usually foods taste the best when they come from right outside… that’s where the goodness comes from, that’s where the juice comes from,” Bastin said. “If we can figure out the things that grow here locally and surround and support that and create a system for that… it’s rallying together as a community, as a group and making that a high priority.”

As newcomers continue streaming into Florida, The Local Refillery encourages customers to shop sustainably and eat locally. 

“Undeniably, when you have more people conglomerating in a certain location, it is going to create larger production or consumerism,” Bastin said. “You are going to have food coming from all over to support this style of living. Ultimately, I think we are smart enough to have a lot of people populate a certain location and also create a stewardship in the environmental component of it.”

Customers give the shop five stars on Google.

“Entering the store has good clean energy – almost like you begin to heal right away before taking any medicine. Tea to soothe the soul, tinctures, oils, spices, and everything nice for the body and soul! Owner was super friendly and accommodating. I’m definitely coming back!” a reviewer named Summer Crider wrote.

Sarah Miller, another reviewer, wrote: “I’m still navigating all the possibilities here, but am starting to save up my containers and jars to regularly bring in to refill spices and bulk items. Am addicted to the Datil citrus grinder. Got several gifts for friends from here this year, the spice packs are great, especially the Italian blend.”

The address of The Local Refillery is 215 W. King St., and the phone number is 904-439-5381.

“What a beautiful experience!” reviewer Angela Fernandez wrote. “Super friendly service, and high quality products that are made with love. Also, the best matcha latte I’ve ever had. I can’t wait to experience more of this place.”

Story by Maiya Mahoney and Brooke Rhonemus. Photos from The Local Refillery’s Facebook page.

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