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Sustainable Dry Goods Grocer Mason & Greens Celebrates One Year in Old Town Alexandria

Mason & Greens Owner, Anna Marino, eager to help and offer environmentally friendly tips. (Photo: Kelli Goel)

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Mason & Greens, Old Town Alexandria’s first sustainable dry goods and grocer, opened one year ago at 913 King Street, just three days before Virginia’s Governor issued the pandemic’s stay-at-home order, and owners Justin and Anna Marino quickly switched their shop’s focus toward pick-up orders.

The couple created Mason & Greens because they saw nothing like it in our nation’s capital area.  “There’s a lot of people in this community who want this and there’s really no other options that are out there for them,” confirms Anna Marino on how they saw the gap in the market and decided to design this zero-waste store.  You will find over 100 different items you can bulk fill without any packaging.

Mason & Greens brick storefront harkens back to grocers of yesteryear. (Photo: Kelli Goel)

Just about every grocery item is 100% vegan and most produce is organic or sourced by farmers who are doing even more to sustain their soil quality.  You won’t find products with palm oil, but what you will find is bulk dry goods as well as bulk liquids such as soy sauce, agave and apple cider vinegars.  There are veggie burgers, local greens and baked goods (including a variety of gluten free and vegan items).

Interested in trying kombucha on draught?  Mason & Greens has two flavor choices available, and they constantly change.  You can also try different ciders, beers and wines on tap.  Bring in a previously used wine bottle or even a thermos to fill and take home.  They can cork your bottles.  Along with food and drinks, you will encounter many eco-friendly beauty, home items and books in their store.

You can fill your own mason jars with dry goods. (Photo: Kelli Goel)

Bring in your own mason jars, bottles and bags to take home your products.  There is no intimidation factor while shopping in this environment-friendly shop.  Marino affirms, “We don’t want people to come in and be turned around because they don’t have an option”. Customers quickly catch on that they can bring their own containers from home.  There is no intimidation factor here; the friendly staff is eager to show you how to use their Tare system of weighing and makes you feel instantly comfortable in your shopping experience.

When was the last time you were able to fill your own wine bottle and have it recorked for you? (Photo: Kelli Goel)

One of their main objectives is making all things affordable to everyone.  Marino says, “We don’t want to be one of those places where you go in and not everybody can shop.”  She feels that sometimes wanting to lead a greener life is kind of held for people who have the means to live this way and she thinks this is wrong because it is not sustainable in the long term.  They keep their prices as low as they possibly can.

You will find select examples of organic, locally-sourced produce at Mason & Greens. (Photo: Kelli Goel)

Despite their original grand opening plans that couldn’t happen, the Marinos are thrilled with the interest people have in their store.  They have future plans to open another location in DC.  We are lucky to have this gem so near to us. Feel good about doing your part to help the Earth and visit 913 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Hours are Mondays through Saturdays 9-7 and Sundays 10-5.

RELATED: It’s Always Farmers Market Season in Alexandria

Kelli Goel

Kelli Goel is a food blogger with The Zebra Press and lives with her husband and children in Alexandria, Virginia.

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