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Tree Huggers celebrates three years with new initiative

This week Tree Huggers grocer on Wealthy Street celebrates 3 years with the launch of a new consultation service.
Tree Huggers displays a donated chalkboard posing a questions to passersby.

Tree Huggers displays a donated chalkboard posing a questions to passersby. /Eric Tank

Underwriting support from:

/Angela Topp

/Angela Topp

This week local earth conscious grocer Tree Huggers celebrates three years. The store, which started in Holland and then opened a second store at 947 Wealthy Street S.E. in Grand Rapids a year later, soon closed the Holland store in order to devote more time to the Grand Rapids location. And area residents are glad she did.

Topp’s newest idea came when a patron donated an old schoolhouse chalkboard to her. She decided to use it as a way to foster dialogue in the community. Now every morning Topp places the chalkboard with colored chalk on the sidewalk in front of her building. She writes a question, such as “What can you do to make someone smile today?” to get the conversation started. Pedestrians can then write their answers. At the end of the day Topp takes a picture of the responses. She says that the feedback is good so far and plans to continue doing it for the next month or so. If the response maintains its frequency then she’ll keep doing it, “rain or shine” says Topp.

Topp and her team at Tree Huggers are launching a new service this week. It’s a big project that Topp says seems to be a logical extension of Tree Huggers’ eco-friendly philosophy. Topp will be providing a consulting service for people that want to reduce their carbon footprint but aren’t sure how to go about making those changes.

“A lot of people want to make these types of changes but find that it is overwhelming to get started. We thought if we can meet people where they are at and help them get to where they want to be, everyone wins,” says Topp.

Each consultation is in home, hands on and plans a course of action to meet certain goals for the client. The service provides educational materials as well and focuses on individual needs and circumstances.

The consultations focus on three different areas: waste free home, chemical free home and clean eating. The waste free home option provides the client with the tools necessary to create a home that produces no waste. By choosing the chemical free home option, clients will learn what cleaners on the market are safe to use and recipes to make your own safe cleaning products. Clean eating focuses on healthy culinary habits, introducing to the client resources to fresh local produce.

Consultation rates start at $120 for a two hour in-home session. Topp is starting off the program by offering half price for the first 100 people to sign up. For more details visit their website.


On Thursday, August 22 Tree Huggers will be offering a Groupon deal of the day.

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