Australian Vegan Restaurant Chain Lentil As Anything Opens Inconvenience, a ‘Free’ Supermarket Tackling Food Waste

*Australian Vegan Restaurant Chain Lentil As Anything Opens Inconvenience, a ‘Free’ Supermarket Tackling Food Waste*

A new vegan supermarket has opened in Melbourne, Australia – but it is not like other grocery stores. In a bid to tackle food waste, the products in this market have no prices.

The Inconvenience Store is the brainchild of the non-profit micro-chain, Lentil as Anything, which has three vegan restaurants in Melbourne and one in Sydney. The unorthodox supermarket offers quality produce without the price-tag. All of the food available is donated by third-party suppliers, and customers are free to pay as much as they see fit or are able to afford. The owners say the store follows a “pay-as-you-feel” model.

“Australia currently has a multi-billion dollar a year food waste crisis, and The Inconvenience Store, along with the volunteer food rescue team Food Without Borders, wants to make a difference,” said Project Coordinator Astrid Ryan to The Epoch Times.

The store offers a variety of staples, thanks to its partnerships with local and commercial retailers. The bread comes from local bakeries’ surplus goods, while other products are donated by nearby fresh food markets and even major supermarkets like Aldi. Some of the produce may be “damaged” or not aesthetically on par with a mainstream store’s standards, but it is all suitable for consumption and nothing past its use-by date is sold.

Not only is the Inconvenience Store working to combat waste, it is also aiding economically disadvantaged customers. By circumventing price tags, the supermarket ensures that produce is accessible to all, regardless of the contents of their wallet. However, bags are limited to six kilos, to ensure that the limited stock can stretch to everyone.

We wanted to provide people with access to nutritious fruit and vegetables which when people are in financial or difficult situations it’s probably the thing they have the least access to,” said Ryan.

The store proudly empowers customers on its website, writing “By shopping at the Inconvenience Store, you will be making a revolutionary contribution to society: actively preventing food waste, thereby helping heal the environment, and supporting a non-profit community-based food charity.”
The Inconvenience Store can be found inside the Lentil As Anything restaurant at 562-564 High St, Thornbury, Melbourne.

Image Credit: The Inconvenience Store