Sustainability at Kimberton Whole Foods

At Kimberton Whole Foods, we aim to conduct all areas of business in a respectful and ethical manner. This includes considering the ways in which our actions affect our planet. Here are some of the ways that we work to reduce our footprint.

Shellbark Hollow Farm Kimberton Whole Foods

Reducing Food Waste

Perishable and non-perishable foods are donated to local food banks, rescue agencies, churches and community groups. Our local partners include the Daily Bread Food Pantry, The Lord’s Pantry in Downingtown, Coatesville Youth and Women’s Alliance, Fiorenza’s Food for Friends, and St. Peter’s Church Pantry. We coordinate with these organizations on a weekly basis to ensure that food is quickly connected to those in need.

We work with local farmers to repurpose our organic, compostable food waste into farm gold! We’re proud to work with producers like  Neighbour’s Farmstead and Shellbark Hollow Farm, who use our compost to feed their pigs, hens, and of course, to make nutrient-rich compost.

In 2019 we kept 30 tons of produce out of landfills through our compost and food donation program.

Distribution Center Kimberton Whole Foods

Our Distribution Center

Our distribution center in Downingtown serves as a central location for our local vendors, and reduces the number of trips (and carbon emissions) that they would otherwise take to our 6 stores. When you buy local, you are also making a positive choice for the planet.

Reducing Packaging Waste

One of our largest distributors, KeHE Elkton MD, is offering reusable totes in place of corrugated repack boxes for select customers. We have joined this program to drastically reduce the day-to-day waste associated with operating a grocery business.

PASA Kimberton Whole Foods

Sustainable Farming Partners

We support the work of organizations like the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) and the Biodynamic Association, because we believe that truly responsible farming is the way to a sustainable future. We proudly donate to both organizations as well as participate in the annual Produce for PASA campaign and Sustainable Agriculture Conference.

Climate Committee Kimberton Whole Foods

Climate Committee

As members of the Climate Collaborative, we work with other natural grocers, food companies, and distributors to leverage the power of the natural products industry to reverse climate change. To support our participation with this group, we have formed our own Climate Committee at Kimberton Whole Foods, built from dedicated team members from all of our stores and departments, who meet monthly.

Thanks to our Climate Committee, we now offer biodegradable & compostable produce bags, made using non-GMO corn starch. We also switched to recyclable receipt paper, which uses Vitamin C to transfer the thermal print rather than harmful chemicals. They are BPA- and BPS-free. Learn more.

bulk foods Kimberton Whole Foods

Bulk Shopping

We encourage our customers to bring their own containers when buying from our bulk section for zero-waste shopping. Look for bulk spices, coffee, grains, and more. Product selection varies by store location. Note: Stop by a register before you fill up, so a team member can weigh your containers.

18 thoughts on “Sustainability at Kimberton Whole Foods

  1. Thank you a million times over for providing “zero waste” options! Explaining the process of tare weighing took the guess work out of how things work at your stores. I’d be interested in seeing more zero waste products in kitchen, beauty and bath departments (eg. unpapertowels). I also appreciate the ways your cafe promotes zero waste. Way to set an example for others to follow. You have become my number one place to shop because of your eco friendly grocer philosophy.

    • Hello Kathryn, Thank you so much for taking the time to read about our sustainability practices and for sharing your feedback with us. I’ll be sure to bring up your suggestions at our next Climate Committee meeting. We look forward to seeing you in the store soon! Have a great day. -Emily at KWF

  2. Thank you for your highly commendable and admirable actions to reduce waste, reduce plastic pollution and reduce overall “carbon footprints” for your products and services. We know many Downingtown area residents and families – including our own – who are very grateful and consider ourselves fortunate to have your KWF store in our town. All citizens and all businesses must do as much as we can to mitigate the imminent, severely detrimental effects of global climate change and the spoiling of our planet by overwhelming amounts of trash..

  3. I love going to your store instead of the local grocery store I bring my jars and my bags to try and do my part for the planet and your help is appreciated

  4. You do so much to help the planet. We love shopping at your store in Ottsville.
    Are the pre-packaged bags of granola (Yum!!) recyclable? Thanks.
    Be Well!!

    • Hello Bill, Thanks for reaching out! The paper bag itself is recyclable – you’ll need to cut out the plastic “window” and remove the twist-top (used to seal the bag) before putting it in with your regular paper recycling. Hope this helps! -Emily at KWF

  5. Thanks for all that you have been doing over the years in supporting a local circular economy. Lately I’ve been noticing how much packaging has increased with crackers. The cracker weight per box is getting smaller and smaller. I’m just not wanting to buy a a cardboard box and the plastic/mylar inside for 4 -7 oz of crackers. Can they ever be sold in bulk? The Late July chip bags are large and can be upcycled by TERRACYCLE. Could you offer a box somewhere for recycling the bags and support Terracycles work?

    • Hi Peggy, Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I’d be happy to bring up your bulk cracker request to our team. We have spoken about Terracycle in our Climate Committee meetings in the past, and I’m sure we’ll continue to do so. We are actively working towards giving our customers more ways to easily reduce waste. Thanks for your support!

      • Thanks Emily. Like your idea for bringing jars that are already labeled for bulk goods. Now I’ll just have to come up with a little six pack jar carrier. Do you know about the Zero Waste community in the EU? They have some great webinars. Europeans have been bringing their own bags to market for years. When I was an exchange student in Switzerland 50 year ago we always had a string bag or two with us.

  6. Love your idea of a bag tree! Hopefully we will see more plastic bag bans in 2020 & going further…..
    I come from NJ to shop at the Ottsville store & really enjoy your variety of organic items, never been disappointed! Keep up the good work!

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