Government worker to grocer: one woman’s journey to life satisfaction

Salina Derish is opening the Fraser Valley’s first zero-waste grocery store in Chilliwack’s downtown

Although Salina Derish had a well-paying job working for the federal government, she says she needed a change after having her second child.

“I was adulting—you know, making a living, but not living a dream,” said Derish, handing over snack bars to her son and daughter.

“I wasn’t living a life that aligned with my values,” she continued. “So I began making changes in life that would bring me back to that.”

One of the first changes Derish says she made was eliminating methylisothiazolinone from her household. Used as a synthetic biocide and preservative, methylisothiazolinone is found in many of the hygiene products used today, and caused Derish to develop “the worse case of eczema I’d ever experienced.”

But the elimination process was easier said than done, said Derish. To find products that would help her skin heal, she had to start commuting to Vancouver’s Soap Dispensary for alternative products and ingredients to make her own soaps.

And that’s when the inspiration hit.

“I started wishing they’d do it with groceries,” said the 32-year-old. “And the next time I went there, they had … but it was still a ways away.”

Which is when Derish says she began looking around Chilliwack for the right opportunity.

“I was able to take a (several year) sabbatical from work, so I thought now is the time to take a risk if I’m ever going to do it.

“I’ve always been passionate about the environment,” said Derish. “I started a recycling program when I was six-years-old, and became a vegetarian at 12.”

So taking a deep breath, Derish said she took the leap in January of this year and began the process to open PickEco Refills, the Fraser Valley’s first zero-waste grocery store.

“This is a totally new concept for Fraser Valley Health,” explained Derish. “And I’m going to do my best to keep it affordable for almost everyone.”

Located in the heart of Chilliwack’s downtown, PickEco Refills Ltd. has made its new home in the ArtHouse on Mill Street’s former location (2-9360 Mill Street).

“I chose downtown Chilliwack rather than Sardis because I feel like (this area) is under serviced,” continued the new entrepreneur.

“There’s a lot of really great businesses around here that have been doing great things for a long time against some pretty steep odds, and I want to join that … (which is why) I’ve taken a collaborative approach with local businesses.”

And in sticking with her zero-waste goals, Derish has made it her mission to make PickEco Refills Ltd. as environmentally friendly as possible.

All of the store’s cabinets, countertops, and gravity bins were purchased second hand, and Derish says she’s stocking up on glass jars and the like that customers can use when purchasing their environmentally friendly bulk grocery items.

“We’re going to offer dried goods, oils—essential and cooking—detergents, soaps, deodorant, toothpaste, frozen foods, spices, and kimchi,” explained Derish.

However, due to food and health regulations, many of the store’s products will have to be filled by staff members. But not to worry, said Derish.

“We’ll have a waiting area and a kid’s corner. We want to be inclusive and have people to enjoy shopping here.”

Which is why Derish says PickEco Refills Ltd. will also be hosting workshops showing people how to make their own DIY bath and body products, and will be accepting certain recycling products like batteries, snack bar wrappers, and glass jars, among others.

For more information about PickEco Refills Ltd., please visit their website at PickEco.ca, or their Facebook page.


@SarahGawdin
Sarah.Gawdin@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Habitat for Humanity says it owes no money to former CEO

Upper Fraser Valley branch responds to wrongful dismissal lawsuit

City hall taps out on decade-long resistance to MMA in Chilliwack

Official sanctioning under B.C. Athletic Commissioner helped change minds

Affordable housing for seniors eyed for former Paramount site

City of Chilliwack to partner with Chilliwack Community Services

Chilliwack Progress picks up three national newspaper awards

Progress part of strong Black Press showing at CCNA awards

Recent online kitten abuse video raises serious social media questions

UBC and UFV profs weigh in on the subject of online sharing, shaming, and our digital landscape

BC Games’ Athletes Corner: What’s your favourite pump up song?

Check out what’s playing in the earbuds of BC Summer Games athletes before they compete

Crosswalk vandalism leaves black mark for Cowichan as B.C. Games begin

Rainbow crosswalk defaced just days after being painted

Photo gallery: BC Games Day 1

A brief look at action from the 2018 BC Summer Games in the Cowichan Valley

Anti-pipeline campers digging in as eviction deadline expires

The City of Burnaby had ordered the Kinder Morgan pipeline protesters out for violating bylaws

Trump was taped talking of paying Playboy model: AP source

Source says former personal lawyer Michael Cohen secretly recorded discussion prior to 2016 election

BC toddler with ‘allergy’ to sun waiting for bone marrow transplant

Charlie Lock, 2, needs treatment for damage caused by rare disorder EPP

VIDEO: How to throw a frisbee

Ultimate frisbee player Amy Mackay shows off the proper technique

Site C dam project plagued by problems: expert

E. Harvey Elwin expresses concern about internal BC Hydro and government documents

Former hockey scout with NHL Oilers hired as WHL Giants’ senior advisor

Hockey exec’s experience ‘a huge asset for us as we continue our pursuit of a championship,’ GM says

Most Read