Look for the… Tare Necessities!

Who else did a long-awaited happy dance when Tare Necessities opened its doors on Baker Street? I sure did! While I appreciated having other local options, the most convenient and best addition is having a refillery right here in Cranbrook. So, let’s get to it.

If you have never shopped at a refill type of store, it is very easy to learn, and Tammy and Mark are the kind of people who just want to help, so go on and ask. Bring your reusable bags or containers to the store, weigh them and note the tare (the weight that will be subtracted off the price) on your containers, and happy shopping!

You’ll find most of your necessities here, and if there is something you are still missing, Tammy and Mark welcome suggestions. You can fill up on pasta, rice, lentils and other dried legumes, flours, many other grains, spices, coffee beans, dried fruits, various nut butters, and even household items like dishwasher tabs, laundry soap, and dryer balls. Shampoos, conditioners, and soaps are also available, and so much more.

It has never been more important to support local, which is why I had a few questions for Tammy and Mark at Tare Necessities:

  1. What inspired you to start a business like Tare Necessities? We have been using organic/natural products ourselves for a few years and I was continually researching and sourcing for our own family, and no longer had any more space at home to keep adding, as well as wanting more products I didn’t have access to. We decided to go big and make a HUGE pantry to share with others. We dream of making this way of eating/living more attainable for our community. With this thought we knew it was a great opportunity to minimize waste and encourage reusing vs recycling where we can. The amount of packaging we can avoid going to the landfill (or wherever it ends up) with having a zero waste store is HUGE and we want to make any difference we can! Sharing and educating people about both the zero waste concept and the quality of foods/products is something we look forward to.
  2. Is waste reduction important to you? Waste reduction is very important to us. The act of “recycling” all of our single use items didn’t feel like enough. It takes so much time and effort and the percentage that ACTUALLY gets properly recycled in the long run is minimal. To refuse the waste in the first place is the most powerful thing we can do! We’ve always loved to “repurpose” and it just came natural in our day-to-day life. It was part of our dream to have the same concept in our store to make a bigger difference and help our community realize that each little thing we do individually can really make a difference!
  3. What opportunities do you see in Cranbrook in the way of waste reduction? We don’t live in city limits, but there is now a residential recycling program, which is excellent. The recyclable take-out containers, paper/no straws, reusable bags are becoming more of a norm. All of it adds up as we commit to it as a community. Adding our store into the mix takes so much trash out of people’s day-to-day usage.
  4. Describe how this is a family business: It is myself (Tammy), my husband Mark, and our two daughters. Mark and I were raised by entrepreneurial parents and opened our first business, Full Current Electric, in 2007. Our kids don’t know anything different than working hard for results and chasing our dreams. Mark and/or I are always here at the store when we are open, and when the girls aren’t in school, they’re usually here too! They both have a really great business mind already, and it’s so fascinating as a parent to watch them learn and grow. Mark and I love to work together; we are truly best friends, and we love to have our kids alongside us. All of us are passionate and own the clean lifestyle we live. Our dream is Tare be a place our daughters can be proud of to run as a career, if they choose, or an opportunity as a first job.
  5. What has been the biggest challenge? Our only “challenge” has been the things we weren’t in control of and learning to let that go. We are hard workers and did the majority of the manual work: because the space we chose had structural work to be done before it was ready for us to occupy, those things we had to wait on before we could hit the ground running. We kept busy behind the scenes doing what we could to prepare and in turn, we were able to be very intentional with our design. We wanted to open September 2021; that deadline blew past us which was a challenge, but we’re here and thrilled to be especially as we head into spring.
  6. What do you want the community to know about you or Tare Necessities? We would love the community to know that we are through and through Cranbrookians. We’re here with this giant pantry of natural and organic products because we’re passionate about making it accessible. If we don’t have our health, what do we have? Most people don’t realize how our environment and foods have changed over the years and how important organic/natural is for our bodies; chronic disease is at an all-time high in our culture. We acknowledge that “organic” can be more pricey, and we’ve sourced the highest quality to get the best nutrient content for what you are purchasing. Buying in smaller quantities for just what you need makes it more affordable and keeps your pantry fresher, as we keep the freshest options in store and rotate it through. Change one product to a cleaner option, replace an item as it runs out, and slowly you’ll transform your pantry. It doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing commitment. We have a lot of unique items that you won’t find elsewhere! You’re also keeping your dollars right here in our community shopping at our little shop.
  7. What is your favourite product right now? Do I really have to narrow down just one? I’d say right now my favourite would be the nut butter machines; we’re having so much fun trying out different versions and nothing is better than fresh ground organic nut butter. I brought all our favourite things to the store to share access to it in the community.
  8. How do/will you collaborate with other local businesses? We’ve got to know our neighbours, and so far everyone in our part of town has been supportive and encouraging. We look forward to being part of Cranbrook’s downtown community. I think it’s such a positive growth for Cranbrook to have healthier options available all within a block or two; Morchella’s around the corner, Nutter’s up the block. Eventually we’ll have something set up to join the “First Tuesday of the month” discounts, etc.
  9. How did you decide on the name? When this store went from an idea to a goal worth pursuing, I wanted the name “Tare”, as it is simple and exactly the concept of our bulk store. “Tare” is the weight of a container not including the product inside it. Registering the name, they needed it longer with a “descriptive” word, and Mark said, “Necessities”, because that’s EXACTLY what we’ll carry and it was it! We love to do things intuitively, and this was just another one of those things that felt right.
  10. What is your hope for Tare Necessities? Our hope for Tare Necessities is to have the community learn we are here, adjust to the different ways of shopping, and become a hub for the locals and people travelling through to get the things they need. We want to share the knowledge we’ve learned about natural living and health and make a difference.

If you haven’t been to the store yet, make sure you do to support local, and shop with yourself and the environment in mind. Maybe I’ll see you there! And if you are lucky enough to try their hazelnut chocolate spread, you will not regret it.

Thanks to Tammy and Mark for taking the time to chat with me and answer my questions.

In love and compost,




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