Originally known as Urban Bulk Emporium, the store was started in 2015. The original owner, Aziza, was inspired by her father and grandfather to become the third generation in her family to run a bulk food business. With the dream of creating a space in Leslieville where people could shop for organic, healthy foods in bulk and at a fair cost, she opened what became a neighbourhood staple and well-loved local business.
Fast forward four years to 2019, when new owner Karen took over, and the store was relaunched as Urban Bulk & Refill. In addition to carrying bulk and specialty foods, the store is now also dedicated to providing a wide selection of refills for soaps, household cleaners and personal care products.
Karen was born and raised in Toronto, and is proud to call the city home. However, her passion for eco-friendly refills and bulk was sparked while living in Vancouver, BC by a local zero-waste refill shop in her neighbourhood at the time. Inspired by the strong sense of community and dedication to a more sustainable lifestyle the store created, Karen’s goal is to create a similar resource in Urban Bulk & Refill.