Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

Waste not, want not at new Mountain Avenue shop

By: Sue Arnott | The Surveyor | April 29, 2022 | Business

For the past three years, Berthoud resident Nikole Bari has sold a wide assortment of environmentally friendly products at local farmers’ markets along the Front Range, but on Saturday, March 26, Bari celebrated the grand opening of her year-round shop, The Source Zero, at 434 Mountain Avenue (next to Kó-fē House), where less is more and clean living rules.

Photo by Sue Arnott – Nikole Bari (left) and Ashley Merz of The Source Zero located at 434 Mountain Avenue in Berthoud.

“I am concerned about climate change. My life’s work must address this. Something I want to bring to our growing community is showing people the different avenues we can take to reduce our impact.”

A constant learner, with a background in business management and health and exercise science, Bari is excited to apply her education, management skills and passion for clean living into creating a community hub. One order of business is to reduce shipping costs. “I curate products from local providers looking for local outlets. My goal is to help people find and live a more trash-free, plastic-free life. I’m just trying to find a way to bring hope, joy and meaningful action to everyday life.”

Lining the west wall of the shop are some of Bari’s more popular refillable products—shampoos and conditioners, body cleansers and lotions, household cleaners and hand sanitizers, to name a few. Refillables also include high-quality skin-care products, clean cosmetics in beautiful wooden compacts, and reef-safe sunscreen. For the refillables, customers can either purchase glass containers on-site or bring in personal containers. Liquids are sold by the ounce, minus the container.

But not everything is a refillable purchase. The light fragrance of hand-made soaps and candles (made in Berthoud) gives the small, well-organized shop a relaxing ambiance. Some of Bari’s favorite household items are beeswax food wrappers and shampoo bars. “Plastic wraps are annoying. They twist, they don’t seal like they should. We’ve gone through many brands [of beeswax wrappers] and have found one we love that really works—Mishka Hands. I’ve used the same set of these wraps for three years now. They work the same every time. My onions, my avocados, everything lasts longer. They’re reusable and reliable and stress-free. They make me think of getting back to our roots,” meaning, she explains, a return to simpler, less wasteful practices. As for the shampoo bars, they are like soap bars for all hair types. “They last about eight months and come in a variety of natural scents, like vanilla, pure hibiscus, coconut, mango and more. I use them and love them!” Bari said.

The Source Zero is the second shop in what is a quasi-chain of two independently-owned stores. Bari’s long-time friend and business partner, Ashley Merz, manages the original facility in San Jose, California. Bari, a Berthoud local, wanted to keep her business close to home. When the two women found the available retail space on Mountain Avenue and met with the landlord, they sensed a bit of destiny at work upon hearing the landlord’s name:  Nicole Ashley. “It just seemed right,” Bari said. An added bonus: she loves that she can walk and ride her bike to work.

For those new to this type of shopping, Bari offers “product wisdom” seminars in which she reviews product use and care. In addition, she plans to offer DIY workshops on making your own bath bombs, lotion bars and beeswax bars. Store hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 4 – 6 p.m. and Sundays from 11 – 4.

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