Plus the importance of low-income sustainable options
Hailee Heironimus offers sustainable bulk products.
When Hailee Heironimus, a mother of four, was inspired to reduce her family’s waste, she found low-cost local shopping options to be limited. “I started looking to see if there was anywhere I could buy plastic-free or bulk items besides Whole Foods, but there’s this sustainability barrier gap,” she says.
Discouraged by few low- or zero-waste options, Heironimus participated in the SC Community Loan Fund’s Feeding Innovation program, a 10-week financial course designed to support entrepreneurs interested in developing healthy food businesses. After pitching her idea for The Naked Pantry Co., she won the first place $30,000 prize, and two months later, in November 2021, hosted a grand opening at Brown Fox Coffee in Mount Pleasant.
Heironimus bought and renovated an old bus, working with vendors to source all package-free products and establishing $1 deliveries for people with EBT. The Naked Pantry offers bulk items including flour, spices, tea, coffee, beans, dried fruits and veggies, grains, and other shelf-stable products available at most grocery stores, in addition to household supplies and toiletries. Beyond non-perishables, the bus carries farm fresh eggs from Dragonfly Creek, pastries from Mable Mae’s Bakery, and elderberry syrup from Sea Island Organics. “None of our products come from outside the Southeast, and we do that to lower the carbon footprint,” Heironimus says. The bus can be found at pop-up events on weekends, with home delivery options available during the week.