Avocado Co-op, a retail online store with a focus on sustainability, is expanding into Guelph this April.
The company sells household products and hopes the experience to purchase them is as sustainable as the products itself.
Their products include cleaning supplies, compost supplies, storage supplies, water bottles, personal care items and toilet paper. They are available for online delivery and pickup orders in local locations.
The eight-person company incorporated their business in 2015 and started selling their products in the Kitchener-Waterloo region and is now thinking about the next step of expansion in a city that is known for sustainable living.
“We always knew that Guelph was the right next step. In terms of having people who are already so passionate about sustainable living, and by bringing our service, we make it easier,” said Avocado's Albert O’Connor.
The company received funding and support through Innovation Guelph's Fuel Injection program in order to expand.
Avocado Co-op is currently in conversation with Planet Bean locations to serve as pick up locations for customer orders in Guelph and hopes to be able to have its products there to pick up in May.
For $10 the company offers a member share which gives one the opportunity to become a part owner of the company which equal voting power as the board members and also the ability to test products.
For a $5 delivery fee, customers can have the products come right to their door.
"For us, it's about the impact that all of our members have by being able to consistently purchase these products and being able to purchase them in one place so it's less likely that they have to compromise and so they're maximizing their impact,” said O’Connor.
“Overall our goal is to have our products be as divertable from the landfill as possible. We provide specific instructions for each product on how to dispose of it and its packaging. This includes recycling, green binning, and taking back for reuse or doing other forms of composting.”
Some of their products such as the Cascade toilet paper is made entirely from recycled paper products.
“It’s made from 100 per cent post-consumer recycled paper so the paper that we’re putting in our blue bins gets processed and made into toilet paper,” said O’Connor.
O’Connor says that buyers may not always know which greener product is the best and so they want to add a focus on practicality by already having tested the products.
Each product is tested by members to ensure the efficacy of the products.
O’Connor says because of perceptions such as green cleaners being less effective than chemical cleaners, it becomes important to test each product by members to eliminate such confusions.
The company believes that identifying as a co-operation structure and not a corporation is a key part of their retail business plan because it allows transparency about the research they conduct and also be a part of the community organization.
“We sell to our members and it enables us to think about serving our members,” said O’Connor.