Isabelle DeMillan is bringing The Mighty Bin to North Park soon. This zero-waste grocery store focuses on local, organic, nontoxic, package-free, and plastic-free food, household goods, and personal care products. 

Read on for a peek of what DeMillan has going on in her kitchen and see the list of local products we’ll be able to easily shop for when the store opens later this year. 

What's in your fridge? How do you eat it? 

Fruits and veggies, tortillas, almond milk, cashew yogurt, cheese, and eggs. Love me some parfaits, eggs and toast, and veggie burritos.

What's in your pantry and what will you make with it? 

Coffee beans, cereal, granola, tortilla chips, crackers, nuts, pasta sauce, beans, legumes, and different kinds of pasta. I am either making some sort of Mexican quesadilla, tofu-rice-veggie dish, or a pasta dish. And I always have to have some sort of cookies or chocolate in there. 

What are your essential kitchen tips or advice? 

Meal plan before you grocery shop—save money and stress less. Meal prep for the week to make cooking easier and ensure you're eating balanced meals. 

Store foods properly to extend freshness, make them last longer, and reduce waste. Carrots and celery submerged in a jar of water will last for two to three weeks. Keep your bread in the freezer. Fresh asparagus and broccoli keep well with the ends in a glass with a little water in the fridge, kind of like a bouquet. And berries shouldn’t be washed until you eat them. 

Kitchen tools you can’t live without? 

I look for durable, non-toxic cookware for use in my kitchen. I love my toaster; cast iron and stainless steel pots and pans; silicone and metal cooking utensils; and glass storage containers and jars.

Images: The Mighty Bin.

What are the best benefits to bulk shopping that you can’t wait to introduce more shoppers to? 

Bulk shopping allows you to pick how much of a product you want to buy and gives you the option to bring home samples of products you wouldn’t normally purchase. It’s a great way to help minimize packaging waste, prevent food and product waste, and save you money.

Can you tell us about any local products that will be featured at The Mighty Bin? 

I am super excited to partner with many local vendors and showcase their products at The Mighty Bin. Sourcing local, sustainable food and product is a great way to build community and lower your carbon footprint. You will have to stay tuned for the initial vendor list, but we will be sourcing locally-made vegan cheeses, tortillas, tortilla chips, fermented foods, salsas, dips, yogurts, bread, pastries, chocolate, tofu, tempeh, eggs, organic produce, and personal care and cleaning products.

While we can’t wait for The Mighty Bin to open, they have great sustainable living guides and directories on the website—and stay tuned to Edible San Diego for an upcoming Market Explorer feature. 

The Mighty Bin—OPENING SOON

2855 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104

This article was originally published May 18, 2021 exclusively on Edible San Diego Weekly. Want to join the club? Support the region's only dedicated, local, and independently-owned food media company by signing up for a digital membership or subscription today.

About the Contributor
Maria Hesse
Edible San Diego's executive editor is a personal chef and lifestyle designer, podcaster on Modern Casserole, amateur pug photographer at pugsmutt.com, grant writer for Media Arts Center San Diego, and co-author of The Intentionalist Cooks. Find her on Instagram @mariafromediblesd.
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