The Journal has partnered with the digital platform, #local to feature stories highlighting local businesses, individuals & charities. Since 2016, #local has shared over 400 stories in an effort to capture the amazing people and organizations who make this a thriving space to live, work and play.
Great Lakes Refill Co.
Laura Greaves has a warm place in her heart for Great Lakes Refill Co. (GLRC).
“At home, we’ve always tried to do our part for the environment and GLRC made that a lot easier. I always liked that you could buy as little or as much as you need. That helps save money and cut down on food waste, which is a big issue.”
When Laura heard that the business was being put up for sale, she jumped at the opportunity to purchase it.
“What the previous owners have created is a beautiful space where you can buy products that you feel good about,” Laura says. “When you shop at Great Lakes Refill Co., you know that you are doing your part for the environment by reducing your plastic waste and your food waste.”
It’s not as though Laura was actively looking for a career change, but when the opportunity arose, she did a quick pivot.
“I had been running a local research agency and through that job I had the opportunity to chat with many business owners, hearing a lot of their success stories and what they loved about their jobs,” Laura says.
These conversations were inspirational, but it took the right business at the right time for her to make the move.
“When my partner, Rich Bouchard, told me the business was for sale, I thought, ‘Oh, I love shopping there! I wonder what it would be like to work there every day.’ I decided that I had to take the leap and find out.”
Great Lakes Refill Co. is located at 454 Christina Street North and offers a wide assortment of products including groceries, home essentials, personal care products, and sustainable goods such as bathroom, kitchen and household accessories, travel accessories, food storage and bottles and jars among many other things.
For Laura, the change in careers is a welcome one. “I am loving it,” Laura says. “I am having a great time. There’s a lot to learn, but I am blessed to have two team members, Anna Glaser and Scott Meharey, who worked here previously and have been a huge support. They are passionate about the work and they know the products inside and out.”
For Laura, getting out from behind a desk and chatting with customers on the sales floor has been amazing.
“There are so many amazing products in the store and I’ve enjoyed hearing how customers use them in unique and inspiring ways.”
Transitioning into the unknown can be scary, but Laura has approached this head-on.
“I knew when I took over I didn’t want to change everything, but as I get more established I am starting to think about what new products I might like to add and about other partnerships I’d like to form. I am excited to take the store and start to make it truly my own.”