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Family opens bulk dried goods store with mission to reduce waste

Posted at 6:34 AM, Jul 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-07 06:59:04-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — Despite the struggles of the ongoing pandemic, a family in Grand Rapids pushed through the challenges and opened their business, Proprietary.

The bulk dried goods store, located off of Wealthy Street in Grand Rapids, opened a few weeks ago and is excited to make their mark in the neighborhood.

"Proprietary means ownership. We are very excited that we feel like the community has ownership of what they are purchasing," said Victoria McClurken, store manager at Proprietary. "We want to have the feedback from them to make sure they are getting the products they are looking for and if not we are taking suggestions for items that we could have in the future."

The family owned business is a zero waste/low waste bulk dried goods store.

The mission behind the business, according to McClurken is to be a sustainable health-conscious option for people to shop in the Grand Rapids community.

"I feel like bulk, if you are trying to have a minimal waste as a family this is a great way to do it," said Victoria McClurken.

Along with the expected flours, sugar, rice and beans, Proprietary offers spices, teas, snacks and soap.

"It frees you up to grocery shop without bringing home all the cardboard and the plastic and things that are unnecessary and take years to decompose in our landfills," said Lauren McClurkin, clerk at Proprietary.

The store also has biodegradable bags, but customers are encouraged to bring their own clean containers.

"If you've brought your own container you'll set it on the scale and we get the tare weight and we right that down. And you can go ahead and fill your container with whatever you find that you like," said Lauren McClurken.

Safety is also a Proprietary for the sisters, especially now in the current pandemic.

"We are taking extra precautions with everything going on. We ask that you sanitize as well as use gloves before touching any product," said Victoria McClurken. "We also have everything sanitized in the evening and make sure we are sanitizing through the day."

So far the response from the community has been great, and makes the family even more excited to finally be open.

"We are a family owned store. Everyone working in this store is family. We're really trying to support one another with healthier options for our family and generations to come. So we are really excited to open and be in the community and hopefully have the same positivity on other families as well," said Victoria McClurken.

Proprietary is located at 620 Wealthy St. SE in Grand Rapids. The store is open Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 3p.m.