UK’s first zero-packaging grocery shop returns to East London with a new café

Unpackaged, a model of sustainable city living, joins forces with talented chef to launch ambitious new site in Hackney in December

Unpackaged, the unique Islington-based grocery shop where customers bring their own containers to re-fill with everything from olive oil to washing up liquid, is expanding to a larger site and launching its first café, which will be offering seasonal and local food in the best Unpackaged's tradition.

From December this year, Unpackaged will be based at Arthaus, a former art warehouse located next to London Fields, a stone’s-throw from Hackney’s Broadway Market where Unpackaged’s founder Catherine Conway set up her first market stall in 2006.

“We’ve come a long way since our little stall on Broadway Market. From those early days, we’ve aimed to sell amazing food and inspiring our customers to bring their own containers to refill,” Catherine explains.

“We’ve loved our time in Islington and can’t wait to expand to Hackney with our shop, cafe & bar. We’re brimming with new refill products and ideas.

“Unpackaged is about making it just as easy for customers to come and refill than go to a supermarket. We sell great food in a really friendly atmosphere which, to us, is what retail is all about. Our new, bigger home, with café and bar will allow us to reach more people and champion the Unpackaged way as a model for future sustainable city living.

Kate de Syllas, a chef acclaimed by UK’s leading restaurant critics for her cooking at Dalston’s A Little of What You Fancy, will lead Unpackaged’s new café and bar with daytime and evening menus emphasizing seasonal, local ingredients in contemporary global dishes.

From December, Unpackaged will be at 197 Richmond Road, London, E8 3NJ.

The Unpackaged shop at 42 Amwell Street, Islington, EC1R 1XT will close at the end of November. The Unpackaged team is currently building its new premises and further announcements about the specific shop, café and bar offering will be made in the coming weeks.

Unpackaged was founded in 2006 by Catherine Conway in the belief that there is a better way to sell products, so that customers can do the right thing – for themselves and for the environment.

Catherine set up Unpackaged because she wanted to refill her groceries using her own containers. The dream was to set up a beautiful shop that made it really easy for customers to come and refill all their daily essentials. She started in November 2006 on a market stall, where she met Kate, a fellow stall holder, sowing the seeds of their new partnership.

Alongside the shop, Unpackaged also work with other businesses, large and small, to help them go ‘Unpackaged’.

In 2008, Observer Food Monthly named Catherine one of its Eco Heroes and earlier in 2012, Time Out named the shop one of its Best Shops in London while the London Evening Standard named Unpackaged as one of London’s best independent shops.

Current address (until end of November, 2012): 42 Amwell Street, Islington, EC1R 1XT

Opening Hours: Monday – Friday (except Tuesdays) 10am – 7pm, Saturday 9am – 6pm. The shop is currently closed on Tuesdays to allow the team to work on its expansion.

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