Ethikli, a vegan grocery store without packaging, of ethical origin, soon available in the East Village • the Hi-lo
Out of the game for a while, I stood in a long line by the drinking fountain behind other children who had suffered the same fate while waiting for my turn to hydrate. There were no personal water bottles or the dreaded plastic bottles, this water was unpacked. At least that’s how I see it now.
It seems that nothing is without a package anymore. Even vegetables in grocery stores are offered on a Styrofoam tray wrapped in plastic wrap or in a sealed plastic bag for some reason. What is the point of buying organic if the organic seal is printed on plastic?
Finally, there is a beacon of light on the packet-strewn streets of Long Beach. And that eco-friendly bat signal that shines high in the sky above Fourth Street is the next store: Ethikli Package-Free Goods. The first unpackaged, ethically-sourced vegan grocery store in Long Beach is located at 352 E. Fourth St., right next to the Ahimsa vegan restaurant.
The entire store will have not only sundries that are eco-friendly, but also real foods where you can bring your own jars, bags and containers and fill them with everything from coffee beans to vinegar.
“My main focus is on dry products like beans, rice, nuts, seeds, flour, fresh peanut butters (which you can grind yourself), spices, coffee (the own Black Ring from Long Beach), tea, fresh bread, oils (Nuvo Olive Oi), vinegars and snacks, ”owner Katy Impellizzeri, who hopes to open her store in the next few weeks, told me in an email. .
“We’ll also have chilled products like plant-based milks and cheeses, olives (from Adam’s Farm Olives), pickles, tofu, tempeh, even fresh herbs and other edible plants.” She will add more as she gets older.
This is all in addition to the more traditional unpackaged items one might see in the world of sustainable products. There will be ethically sourced vegan household products like laundry detergent, face and body soaps, shampoo, conditioner, reusable paper towels, yoga props, pet toys and more. baby supplies including EKP Creations (recycled candles), Cloud Rinjani (hand cleansing and body brushes) and Bai Li deodorant.
Impellizzeri says the concept of a woman-owned small business supporting other small businesses and farms grew out of both a need and a passion for change. “My mission is to make ethical, sustainable and vegan shopping simple and accessible to everyone,” she says, “and to decrease and ultimately eliminate single-use packaging and food waste.”
The sole owner of this utopia without a fixed price, Impellizzeri is a recent transplant in Long Beach. Originally from Reston, Virginia (just outside of DC), she moved to Los Angeles in 2013 and fell in love with Long Beach when her best friend moved here in 2016, and in 2020 she finally moved her -same.
Ethikli (pronounced “ethically”), stems from Impellizzeri’s basic idea that she wanted everyone to know that the items in the store were of ethical origin, therefore ETHI of ethics, plus her personal initials KLI. Ethics are important to Impellizeri, and in part this concept stems from its frustration with corporate greenwashing (a tactic companies use to make their products appear more environmentally friendly than they actually are). “After teaching yoga for almost 8 years, the pandemic closed studios and gave me the opportunity to change gears and follow my other passion: Earth,” she explains. “I have been leading a relatively ‘low / zero waste’ lifestyle since 2013 and have always struggled to find a one-stop-shop that is not only sustainable, but also ethical and vegan.”
She explains that she wanted to do her shopping in one place, without having to spend five minutes in each aisle reading each label. She was that person in the aisle looking for marks on her phone to make sure she wasn’t funding child labor.
“I decided to do it myself,” she says, “partly out of selfishness to make shopping easier for myself, and partly out of a desire to make ethical and sustainable shopping accessible to as many people as possible. “
If you’re worried about not having containers on hand or going around with a box of empty jars, Impellizeri is here for you. His plan is to offer an “adopt a container” section offering free containers, as well as new containers to purchase. There will also be pre-filled jars for those in a rush to go, in addition to an option of store pickup or local delivery.
Right now, Impellizeri is working on partnering with a local CSA to offer a discount on product delivery, and if that’s not enough, the former yoga teacher has become an environmental hero, plans to offer yoga classes. and meditation on Saturday morning.
Its goal is to become a non-profit organization and give back to the community. “I already organize monthly beach cleanings, but I would like to organize them every week and also extend the cleanings of streets, sidewalks and parks.” She also plans to work with the city to set up composting stations around Long Beach.
“My ultimate goal is to see Ethikli in every neighborhood in California, the United States and beyond! Providing ethical, sustainable, vegan and affordable grocery products to everyone.
Ethikli Package-Free Goods, 352 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, ethikli.com Instagram: @ethikli