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'First full refill shop'; New eco-friendly store opening in Eastown

Grand Rapids city officials say for every business that's closed this past year in downtown, two new businesses have opened.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Grand Rapids city officials say for every business that's closed this past year in downtown, two new ones have opened. 

In Eastown, one block has two new businesses opening in the same week next month: Modish Moth and Earthly Refillery.

"I think I'm the first full refill shop," Anna Crooks, the owner of Earthly Refillery, says. 

Inside, the shelves are stocked and the bottles are filled. Crooks says she's ready to see her first customers.

"You have shampoo already filled, and then you just throw it away. And here, you can actually bring your old shampoo, conditioners and containers and fill them up," she says.

She's passionate about the environment, doing her part to eliminate plastic waste through opening the store.

"We got shampoos, conditioners, laundry, soap, dishwasher soap and a bunch of great things like baby products too," Crooks says. "And we have a great system on how to fill it up. And then we also have obviously our products that are not refillable, but still eco-friendly."

She got her start selling these products with the Sustainability Market in town. Refillable products are sold by the ounce, and she hopes to help more people learn about the process.

"A lot of people, they come in and they want to do these things and they're like, 'There's so many brands I don't know what to do,'" Crooks says. "It gets overwhelming and then they don't do it. This kind of gives people like, here's this, it's local, you can look, you can ask me questions and help the planet."

Earthly Refillery isn't the only new brick and mortar opening on Robinson Road Southeast next week. Richard App, the city's retail retention and attraction specialist, says it's part of a larger trend.

"In the downtown area, this past year, for every business that closed, 2.1 (new businesses) opened," he says. "We've got great restaurants going in, and all through all three wards have new businesses coming in."

From restaurants to retail, he says it's businesses like this that keep the city growing.

"The major places where we're growing is between the ages of 20 and 34. So a lot of the things that I just mentioned are businesses that favor the young people that we want to attract to the city and keep in the city," App says.

Crooks is hosting a soft opening for her friends and family, then on Tuesday Nov. 1, Earthly Refillery will officially be open for business at 1409 Robinson Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506.

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