A new type of shopping experience is moving into Greenpoint. Maison Jar, a low-waste refillery and grocery store, is opening on 566 Leonard Street this Wednesday.

Maison Jar sells food, home essentials, and personal care products by measure, meaning that customers bring in reusable containers or jars and fill them up with bulk items. They pay based on the weight of their items. To make it a one-stop-shop, some products that are harder to sell in bulk will be in reusable jars or cans. Maison Jar will sell dairy products, but no meat or fish.

Maison Jar is a labor of love for owner Larasati Vitoux, who first moved to the United States from France ten years ago. She spent years working in the sales department of a company that manufactured ingredients for health and beauty projects. Their emphasis on sustainability appealed to her and led her to earn a certificate from Tufts University. When COVID hit, Vitoux needed a break and decided to quit her job. She returned to France to see her family. While she was there, she was impressed by the number of stores she saw that worked off of a refillable, low waste model.

“I didn’t see myself as an entrepreneur, to be very honest with you. But I was looking at new jobs and thought ‘Man, this could be really interesting!’” Vitoux told Greenpointers. “I was in sales before, I love communicating with people, this is a mission that I care about, I know the trends in food, and I know how to manage raw materials.”

For Vitoux, the potential to make an impact drew her to the opportunity and helped her face the uncertainty of being a first-time small business owner. “The idea of being able to build a community around this great mission, and be able to feel my impact so much more than when I was working at that other company really made me think ‘Yes, let’s do it!’ she said.

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Community is at the core of Maison Jar. Vitoux knows that people might not travel all the way to Greenpoint for groceries, but she wants to build up a local following.

“Accessibility in my pricing is something I care so much about. I don’t want to be that gourmet store where everything is overpriced. I know I can’t be affordable, but I want to be as accessible as possible.”

Maison Jar will be open every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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