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A better-for-you grocery pops up in NYC

Traveling bodega aims to introduce the public to emerging health-conscious brands

Pop Up Grocer, a temporary grocery store-bodega hybrid, is opening in New York City on September 20 for a month-long engagement. The store is filled with products from emerging brands with a focus on current trends, something that's missing from the market, says founder Emily Schildt. 

As Schildt see it, grocery stores are too large and overwhelming and specialty stores are too sparse. This hybrid “grocery store” seeks to curate the shopping experience in a bright approachable space and includes fresh produce, snacks, beverages, supplements, wellness essentials, household items and pet supplies.


A post shared by Goldmine Adaptogens (@drinkgoldmine) on Sep 20, 2019 at 7:35am PDT

Through a highly-curated Instagram and easy-to-navigate small store, Schildt aims to introduce customers to new and emerging brands and products they might not otherwise find.

She also hopes to attract big retailers who might discover new products that haven’t had retail exposure before.

Schildt is a fan of grocery shopping but knows a lot of millennials are not. She wanted to create an experience her generation would appreciate.

About 99% of the brands are women owned (the team at Pop Up Grocer is mostly women), 90% vegetarian and over half vegan. Not everything is healthy per say, but the products have a healthy glow. Schildt looks for eco-friendly and beautifully packaged version of products on the market now including chickpea puffs instead of cheesy puffs and plant-based jerky.

Nothing in the current iteration in the New York neighborhood of Soho is over 10 grams of sugar.

The store reflects the trends in the market including subscription-only services.

Customers can purchase samples of Peach bath tissue, a monthly toilet paper subscription made of sustainable materials, and Misfits Market produce, misshapen fruits and vegetables that were rejected by grocery stores and sold at 40% off retail prices.

Nut butters are growing in popularity and the Pop Up Grocer has a large selection. Joi is an almond paste used to create  homemade almond milk and Puffworks is a peanut puff created to introduce babies to peanut butter early to avoid nut allergies.

There’s an entire section for CBD, the non-hallucinogenic part of cannabis with purported calming effects, with refrigerated and shelf-stable goods. Some products include Good Day, a CBD canned cold brew coffee, and Cloud Water, a CBD-infused drink sweetened with honey to drink on its own or as a cocktail mixer.

Both products are not in any other retail stores at this time.


Grocery shopping is fun when you have the right accessories @heidisbridge

A post shared by pop up grocer (@popup.grocer) on Apr 10, 2019 at 7:38am PDT

Schildt was a former marketing executive at Chobani and has been a consultant for the past several years, Schildt was familiar with emerging brands and industry trends. Pop Up Grocer was a way for her to curate her selection of emerging brands that fit her criteria: Does the brand have a story? Is it creative and interesting? Does it meet specific nutritional standards: nothing artificial, responsibly sourced, sugar-conscious?

Currently, there are plans for a pop-up in Los Angeles in February 2020 and two more planned in Austin and Denver for later next year.

Contact Holly at [email protected]

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