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“Zero waste” market preps for opening with new way to buy goods; tussle over trees breaks out

A “plastic-free, neighborhood organic grocery and cafe” is set to sprout up in the former VFW Post building on Chinden Blvd. in Garden City.

Roots Zero Waste Market will open soon in the building, with a focus on organic foods and eliminating overuse and plastic from the food buying process.

We make bulk shopping for food and household items easy!

Self-service weigh stations are conveniently located throughout the market. As our customer, you are encouraged to bring any re-usable container or purchase re-usable, plastic-free containers to easily weigh, fill, and pay.

If you can fill it…you can shop with it!

The new market is the vision of Lea Rainey, a longtime veteran of Hewlett Packard and a Virginia-based tech firm.  A year ago, she got fed up with corporate life and bailed out. Now she’s working to launch Roots.

“The problem that we have in Boise is that while we have some good bulk food sections, no one there really makes it easy for you,” Rainey told Boise Weekly earlier this year. “You have to take all of your bulk containers up to a cash register and kind of check out before you check out, so that they can weigh everything for you, and then you go and fill them and come back.”

The revamped building would include a new outdoor deck with seating for 34 people, plus garage door-style windows.  The plan calls for the parking lot to be decreased from 65 spaces to 35, with added bike parking and an EV charging station. 

The plan went in front of Garden City’s Design Review Committee on August 20th, and they declined to approve it until a more detailed plan for trees along street frontages was submitted as well as more information on traffic circulation on the site. The project is back in front of the same group tonight with a revised plan, but Garden City city staff is still unsatisfied with the tree plan:

The applicant’s revised plan does not show enough street trees along Osage
St. or grouped together as allowed by code. The proposed plan is not in conformance with this code section.”

Osage St. runs immediately behind the building, paralleling Chinden Blvd.

In a Facebook post last month, the Roots folks were perplexed by the tree demands.

Monday we were told we had to have a tree per every 50 ft. and to add an additional 10 Trees (5 on Chinden and 5 on Osage….yes…Osage. I bet you didn’t even know that was an official street! That would make a total of 17 trees we need to plant, water and maintain on just our lot.

It was a shock and to be totally honest (as I always am with you) it felt like maybe we were being solo’d [sic] out to be the only new business to Green up Garden City.”

UPDATE: The City of Garden City approved the updated development plan

Don Day - BoiseDev editor
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at [email protected].

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