Planet Pantry celebrates lap around the sun

Shop marks first year with opening of expanded storefront


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 02/03/2022 (392 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

For Planet Pantry co-owner Sam Soloway, living a zero-waste lifestyle means gravitating to reusable, chemical-free, biodegradable products in each area of her home.  

Soloway had her pick of stores that catered to environmentally-friendly habits while living in Toronto.

However, the shopping environment in Winnipeg proved to be lacking in this regard. This discovery clued Soloway into an opportunity to expand the city’s zero-waste market.

“I couldn’t shop the way I really wanted to,” Soloway said.

So, she co-founded Planet Pantry with business partner Tyrell Witherspoon to create that experience for herself and like-minded consumers.

The store recently moved to a new location in the Johnston Terminal at The Forks. It now sits near the west side of the terminal near Harrisons Coffee Co.

The new space is roughly three times bigger than the last, which has made for a better shopping experience, Witherspoon said. The added room creates what he calls a shopping story.

 “It’s nice to be able to have the space in here to separate everything … to make it accessible and easy for (customers) to understand what products are for what parts of their home,” he said.

Customers who visit the new location can expect to find stripped-down, eco-conscious versions of household staples. Glass cleaner comes in a tablet instead of a plastic spray bottle. Laundry detergent is available in dissolvable strips. Body, face, and hand wash can be dispensed into a reusable container from industrial, pump-top jugs.

The gist of Planet Pantry is to have customers bring their own refillable containers (although the store does sell a medley of glass bottles). Staff will then weigh a container before and after it’s filled to calculate costs.

Planet Pantry carries a suite of locally-made items, including Leabee beeswax wraps, food storage products by the brand Practical Homestead, and beard oil by Waverley West-based company Genuine Bodycare.

“You want it; we’ve got it,” Witherspoon said.

Both Witherspoon and Soloway have worked in theatre — shifting to retail from time to time. Witherspoon said the experience they gathered from both sectors has made them better shopkeepers.

“That’s definitely lent itself to a store that is very customer-forward, very customer-focused, and also a good time,” he said.

Planet Pantry opened a bricks-and-mortar store in the Johnston Terminal in March 2021.  

“One thing that’s really nice about The Forks is that it’s a wonderfully historical, traditional meeting place for so many people,” Witherspoon said, adding that he’s pleased Planet Pantry can build on The Forks’ goal of being a sustainable hub.

Now, exactly one year to the day after the opening of Planet Pantry’s physical storefront, the business is hosting a re-launch celebration at its new spot.

The bash, which is set for the weekend of March 4, will recognize the customer base the store has cultivated — customers who backed the business’s opening during a pandemic and showed interest in its mission, Witherspoon said.

For more information about Planet Pantry’s products and re-launch event, go to or @planetpantrywpg on Instagram or Facebook.

Katlyn Streilein

Katlyn Streilein
Community Journalist

Katlyn Streilein was a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review.

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