The First “Pay What You Can” Grocery Store Opens

A new grocery store just opened in Toronto with the tag “pay what you can”. That means everything that is in the market is for sale for the amount that you can afford. All the items have no price tags, and there are no price recommendations. It is the first grocery of the sort that has been opened in the world. The market takes up space in a 1,100 square foot location.


The food that is available in the grocery store is taken from food terminals, farms, restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, and bakeries. None of the items are expired or rotten, but the companies are getting rid of them for reasons such as the food being bruised or misshapen. Some of the food is also given away because there no more space in the warehouses.

“There are big companies that have a lot of (food) stuff stored away in big warehouses and not all of it is sold,” said store owner Jagger Gordon, “There’s nothing wrong with the products we get; some stores just mandate that the food can’t sit longer for four or six months on the shelf. For example, we have pet food here that’s still six months away from the optimal freshness date.” Gordon is currently a Toronto chef and founder of the Feed It Forward initiative.


Gordon says that customers are limited to only a day’s worth of food for a family so that the shop can feed as many people as possible. People can also sign up to have a box of food and produce with recipes sent to them on a biweekly basis.

“The concept behind the store is showcasing how Canadians can utilize the food that’s destined for landfills: perfectly edible food that shouldn’t be thrown out and can be filling the empty bellies of our citizens.” Gordon said.

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