Introducing . . . The Glass Pantry!

Written by Hippo (a hippopotamus) and Al (a bird)

The Glass Pantry is a zero waste, bulk store located in Milwaukee, WI. You bring the containers, we provide the goods. It’s that simple! Our goal is to make zero waste shopping easy, accessible, and fun. Living mindfully and producing less waste should not be inconvenient. So let’s work together to ditch the packaging and support local, sustainable, and community driven businesses. When we connect with our food and our community, we can inspire each other to make real, lasting change. We’re all in this together!

Jenna Meier, Owner of The Glass Pantry

Al has been all aflutter waiting for this store to open ever since we heard about it several moons ago. It’s the first of its kind in Milwaukee.

“The creator of The Glass Pantry is Jenna Meier,” said Al. “She’s a lot like me.”

“How’s that, Al?”

“She has pluck and she won’t quit. Just look at her – starting a new venture in the middle of a pandemic. That takes guts!”

“You’re right, Al. Both you and Jenna make things happen. If not for you, we never would have left the savanna.”

Instead of in-store shopping, at this time, The Glass Pantry is offering free delivery anywhere in Milwaukee County on orders over $20, and in-store pickup. You can see everything they have to offer as well as place an order right here: Jenna has carefully researched all of the products offered and has chosen only those produced with great attention to the care of the Earth. Al and I have a few favorites.

Century Sun sunflower oil from Pulaski, Wisconsin!” said Al, “which brings to mind the time I got locked in the canola factory. Remember, Hippo?”

“Yes, Al, I do. That was way back when we thought the humans needed oil to power their hearts.”

“I placed my first order the other day and it was delivered very promptly! Caffeine is important around here these days so I was happy to get my anodyne coffee and Rishi tea. Can’t wait to visit the store in person but for now this is fun.”

The oil from Century Sun is nothing like those industrially-processed, bleached and deodorized “vegetable” oils lining the supermarket shelves which we now know, for a fact, do not power the human heart.

“Plus,” said Al, “the corn, soy, etc. used to make them are grown using methods that suck the life out of the soil and waterways. But we’ve already talked about that ad nauseum (if that means we’ve gone on about it so long that it makes you feel pukey).”

“Well then,” I said, “Let’s get back to the Century Sun sunflower seed oil. Made from organically grown sunflower seeds from the United States Midwest, it is cold pressed to retain healthy antioxidants and vitamins, lightly filtered, and bottled in glass, all at a 140 acre farm in Pulaski. The residual meal is sold to organic animal farmers for a high protein supplement.”

Century Sun Oil’s processing methods are also certified organic, which means no chemicals are used in any part of their production system. Cold-pressed and lightly-filtered methods allow for the sunflower oil’s natural healthy constituents to remain.


The Glass Pantry also offers local and wildcrafted elderberry syrup from Cassie’s Natural Living. Elderberries and their flowers are packed with antioxidants and vitamins that support overall health and have been used as a home remedy for the cold and flu for centuries.

“Don’t forget the Red Stone Rice!” said Al, “the one and only rice grown in Wisconsin. And . . . Hippo and I will soon be putting on our overalls to help plant it in the Mequon Nature Preserve.”

“Oh!” exclaimed Al. “I nearly forgot the oats and flours from Meuer Farm – we wrote about them a few moons ago here:

Many of the humans I have become acquainted with are eager to try bar shampoo and conditioner. Several different varieties of shampoo are available, including from Abbondanza Soap Co. (Milwaukee), Perennial Soaps (Racine, Wisconsin), and LuSa Organics (Viroqua, Wisconsin). Cream City Soaps, out of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, makes both shampoo and conditioner bars. I don’t have enough hair to wash, much less condition, but, I do miss my spa treatments from the fish that shared the river with me. I plan to try the pumice bar by Perennial Soaps. Although it was formulated for mechanics, and is also recommended for gardeners and painters, I believe it would be a delightful skin treatment for a hippo.

And I also want to try the biodegradable, highly durable, multipurpose scourer made by EcoCoconut with Forest Stewardship Council certified recycled rubber trees and sustainably-farmed coconut husks for bristles. I know the humans will use it to scrub their pots and pans – it’s non-scratch – but I will use it on my toes.

Last, but certainly not least, we would like to call your attention to “The Toilet Bowl Bomb” made in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin by Viren Apothecary. You just throw the bomb in the toilet and watch it fizzle and froth. Active ingredients like hydrogen peroxide kill germs while baking soda & citric acid tackle build up & stains.

“Hippo,” said Al, “I’ve been thinking.”


“Well, Hippo, in the book Call of the Reed Warbler, Charles Massy told us stories about remarkable humans helping to regenerate the land. Native grasses and other species that had not been seen in decades re-emerged when the conditions became right.”

“You mean that the soils held water, bacteria, and a rich lode of minerals, and that the green plants were busy capturing sunlight and changing carbon dioxide from the air into carbon-based sugars – and that animals left their wastes . . . ”

“Of course that’s what I mean. But my point is that zero waste stores are not really new. General stores of 100 years ago sold their flour, sugar and other goods from barrels. Razors, cups, and bags were not disposable. In fact, in one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, Ma made curtains out of flour sacks.

“What I’m thinking, Hippo, is that conditions must be right for this type of store. Something is changing in the minds of humans. After decades of virtual absence, stores similar to The Glass Pantry are now emerging all over the world.”

“Times are changing, Al. I can’t wait to see what else re-emerges.”

“My son is the inspiration behind this project. He deserves better. A better future, a better example, a better system. I want him to see that when we work together with our community, we can make change for the better. I want him to have hope. Because he gives me so much hope. I owe it to him to do my best to make positive choices and positive change. And blueberries…I always owe him blueberries.”🤗💜 Jenna Meier

Al and I love this place; we think you will, too. They will be opening their doors just as soon as they can, but for now, place your order here: And tell them Hippo and Al sent you.

The Glass Pantry

1039 S. 5th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204