2019 Outstanding Independents, Sustainability: New Morning Market, Woodbury CT
With a byline of “Goodness is in,” it’s no surprise that New Morning Market is committed to business practices that serve its triple bottom line of good for financials, good for people and good for the environment.
“Our mission, in a nutshell, is to create a local, healthy, sustainable food community,” says John Pittari, owner of the Woodbury, Conn., store.
In 2012, the store relocated from a rented facility into its current location, which used to be a bowling alley. Pittari tore down the existing building and recycled all of the materials he could. This allowed him to build an environmentally friendly home for his market. All of the rainwater is recharged back into an aquifer after being cleansed by native plants.
“It’s all being collected, and eventually it seeps back into the ground,” Pittari notes.
The building materials used were all either recycled material or sourced locally. The concrete, steel and sheet metal all have a high recycled content. The pine paneling was milled locally, the polished concrete floor was sourced from the next town over, and the granite was scrap from a nearby quarry. Pittari additionally used reclaimed boards from a barn built in 1792 that had been damaged in a storm, and built café tables from the scrap metal of a nearby manufacturer.
It’s not just building materials, though — New Morning Market also has a sustainability committee to help ensure that food products are properly reassigned once they can no longer be sold, whether that’s to local food banks or to area farmers to help nourish the animals or crops that the store will in turn purchase.
“I wouldn’t say that customers are shopping here because we have propylene glycol in our refrigerator,” Pittari concedes. “They’re not shopping here because we’re energy efficient. They’re not shopping here because we have a pervious parking area. But it’s part of that story we can tell, and then this intangible touchstone that reminds customers that New Morning cares, New Morning wants to do good.”