This article originally appeared on Simcoe.com on December 8, 2017.
Beaten to a pulp: how a downtown Barrie business achieves zero waste
A downtown Barrie juice bar has beaten waste management to a pulp.
Or more accurately, to the pulp.
Twice a week, volunteers deliver pulp from Ripe Juicery to Wishing Well Animal Sanctuary in Bradford, to feed 74 hungry rescued farm animals.
“Technically, we’re a zero waste company,” said Meghan Muise, co-owner of Ripe Juicery. “We bring in only raw ingredients and make our stuff from there. We don’t bring in anything packaged.”
The juice bar even handpresses their own nut milks.
All of the store’s disposable packaging is made from recycled corn, wood or paper.
Working with just raw ingredients, Muise said, they were producing a more organic waste than most downtown businesses. Each bottle of juice comes from three to five pounds of fresh produce.
“It’s perfect pulp. It’s top-of-the-line produce,” said Muise. “It’s immaculate.”
“From the day I realized we couldn’t really recycle our pulp with the city, I thought, there has to be a better way,” said Muise. “We would have had to throw out a lot of it, and we don’t like garbage.”
Twice a week, volunteers deliver pulp to Wishing Well Animal Sanctuary in Bradford, and once a week, they deliver to Rounds Ranch in Elmvale.
But, pulp isn’t the only thing the juicery is diverting from the landfill.
“Our bottles are all recycled. We’ve brought in 20,000 glass bottles, maybe even more,” said Muise. Customers who return their bottle to the store get 50 cents back per clean bottle.
“We wanted a product that was super sustainable and eco-friendly,” said Muise.
Before opening Ripe two-and-a-half years ago, Muise worked at the Royal Victoria Hospital in addictions and mental health. Her business partner, Lindsay Haley, taught private yoga.
Muise said the pair saw an opportunity to do something unique in the city and the business took off.
Since opening, Ripe has three locations: two in Barrie and one in Muskoka that operates during the summer months. Each location offers a range of juices and smoothies from scratch and has recently added a full plant-based menu.