Meet Heather Williams, the owner of Mimi’s Zero Waste Market in Ballard’s Crown Hill neighborhood. In 2021, mother-daughter team Heather and Berenice Cuautle Arellano founded the market to offer a convenient way for eco-conscious Seattleites to shop. Alongside bulk laundry detergents and skin care products, you can stock up on pantry staples, including spices, flours, grains, and teas featuring many local and POC suppliers. 

Get to know more about Heather and Mimi’s Zero Waste Market in this week’s Business Q&A.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Why is it important to you and your business that people #SpendLikeItMatters?
“It is important to be proactive in creating community-centric businesses that support living in a connected neighborhood, city, and ultimately a planet where we feel more connected to each other. At Mimi’s Zero Waste Market, we want customers to have a joyful sensory experience when they are shopping for the things that will nourish their health and their home. We love our customers who remind us every day to be thoughtful, intentional, and curious about how to best care for ourselves, each other and the planet.”

As a business owner, what’s the strangest or craziest idea you’ve ever tried?
“We’re very new at this and part of an emerging or ‘reinvented’ retail sector with zero waste aspirations and shopping in bulk with your own containers, so everything feels a little crazy. The metaphor about building the airplane while flying seems apt, but now make the plane run on renewable energy!”

What’s something your customers may not know about you or your business?
“Mimi’s Zero Waste Market is named for [my] grandmother. Her given name was Goldie, but she was known by her grandkids as Mimi. She is an inspiration because she always prepared the family meals on holidays, canned fruits, vegetables and jams every year, knew how to sew, and was always baking. She grew up on a farm and knew how to do everything the ‘old fashioned’ way.”

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