GENEVA, N.Y. (WROC) — Right in the heart of Geneva is a new unique business.
“Waste Not Shop” is a health food store, owned by a woman in her 20s, Geneva native Marilla Gonzalez, who spent seven years at Mother Earth Natural Foods in Geneva.
“When the owner retired, there was still a desire to have that kind of place in town, but it needed an update,” Gonzalez said. “And I thought, ‘let’s take the idea of a health food store, and reduce the waste.'”
She is a first-time business owner, but she learned through working at Mother Earth and her family’s small business. Armed with a grant from the city of Geneva, her desire to do something about two landfills that bracket either side of Geneva, powered her through.
“I just felt like we can’t complain too much about the giant trash heaps if we’re not doing what we can do to eliminate our personal waste,” Gonzalez said.
“We basically take the five main categories of what you’d find in any health food store: bulk food, personal care, home care, on the go, and supplements,” Gonzalez said.
For her product, Gonzalez goes through her own vetting process. She buys from many different vendors, but each has to be sustainable. Consumers can buy whatever portion of food product they need. Like many others her age, Gonzalez cares about how her actions and waste affects the environment. Her business is thriving, and customers relate to her own message.
“People in general of all ages can connect over ‘let’s make less garbage,'” Gonzalez said.