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Mollie Stone's Markets Prioritizes Sustainability

Indie's efforts in this area span the entire store — even including living walls
Barbara Sax
Sustainability Matters
Mollie Stone’s living walls, which are watered with recycled water, are as beautiful as they are useful.

San Francisco Bay Area-based grocery retailer Mollie Stone’s Markets has long been rooted in healthy, natural and specialty foods. It’s no surprise that the Mill Valley, Calif.-based company also has a variety of sustainability initiatives in place.

“We have a duty to our community to prioritize sustainability in multifaceted ways,” notes owner and CEO Mike Stone. “Whether it’s making our stores more energy efficient, fighting food waste with key partnerships at all our stores, or carrying local products that are good for us to eat, but also good for the environment, we are committed to creating a better future.”

All of the grocer’s stores recycle and compost. Five remodeled Mollie Stone stores feature all-LED energy-saving lighting systems. The stores’ living walls, which are watered with recycled water, are as beautiful as they are useful. The walls reduce ambient temperature, lower ambient noise both inside and outside the store, create a fire-resistant layer, and increase biodiversity. 

The company’s stores also all participate in food waste donation programs. Mollie Stone’s teams with Food Runners to distribute and redistribute food, and with the Marin Sanitary Service in its Greenbrae store to convert food waste into a biogas through anaerobic digestion.  

Turning Waste Into Energy

“Marin Sanitary built a green sustainable food waste facility that turns food into methane gas to run their buildings,” says Jeff Laine, Greenbrae store manager. “We put all our food waste into bins outside, and Marin Sanitary picks it up and uses it by turning it into energy for their plant. All other food waste that we have we give to the SF-Marin Food Bank.”

The chain carries as many local and sustainable products as possible. “At Mollie Stone’s Markets, our buyers are constantly searching for the highest-quality products,” notes Tamira Franz, director of health and wellness. “For us, the definition of ‘highest-quality’ includes sustainable and regenerative practices.”

The grocer carries pork, beef, produce and wine from companies with regenerative practices and seafood certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council and the Marine Stewardship Council. Even the company’s private label vitamins are sustainability focused. 

“We use Vitality Works for our droppers and powder capsules,” adds Franz. “Vitality Works has a solar array that covers a large part of its building, composts all of the plant material that has been extracted and has Zero Scaped its whole property with native plants.”

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