Maison Jar, Greenpoint, NY

Location: 566 Leonard Street, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, NY
Completion: 2022
Area: 1,500 SF
Client: Larasati Vitoux, Maison Jar

Maison Jar is a low waste grocery store located in Brooklyn, NY. A one-stop-shop for food, home essentials and personal care items all without unnecessary packaging. Whether sampling something new, buying for a single meal, or stocking up for the season, customers can pick the quantity of a product as they need. Sustainability was at the core of the design process. Durable, recycled and natural materials have been selected for an eco-conscious approach, referencing core values of Maison Jar. The neighborhood refillery is a welcoming place for conviviality and an inspiring retail destination for the local community and New Yorkers!

European farmer markets, apothecaries and American mom & pop’s general stores influenced the organization, material palette and even some of the custom fixtures of Maison Jar developing a contemporary vision of the market experience, mainly focused on the direct relationship between customer and products. While developing a curated and functional space, the client encouraged a convenient and simple store organization that would feel accessible to people. It also had to be flexible to accommodate the constant evolutions that stores require periodically and execute efficient and seamless change overs for different activation of the space: retail, talks & workshops, events, demonstrations, pop up markets, etc. The interiors are finished with natural materials (wood, cork, lime plaster) and a simple muted palette to create a calm tone and serene environment, a place to feel at home. We introduced some reclaimed wood accents throughout the store repurposing old joists from Upstate NY barns. The terracotta-hued terrazzo is made of recycled stone aggregates. The light gray lime wash walls & ceilings add textural interest and contributes to the cohesive, minimal interiors. This natural mineral paint is healthy, breathable (free of toxic ingredients) & durable, a good alternative to standard paint or wallpaper.

The store is organized in 3 areas that provide the architectural framework for an evolving retail environment. The main entrance is open and welcoming. The cash counter island doubles as a deli counter and is positioned in the center as you first walk in to create a non hierarchical communication between hosts and guests. The bulk food area perimeter walls are fully covered with products in the gravity bins displayed on one side to accompany the whole walk through the store. The solid oak vertical dividers act as bookmarks for the different product categories and facilitate wayfinding with bespoke signage moments. We created custom modular fixtures made from birch plywood and placed them in stacks to set a marketplace vibe while highlighting the jars installation. The modules on wheels simultaneously serve as furniture, storage and display units creating flexibility of the elements and ensuring a dynamic retail environment. The home & beauty goods are arranged like a living room. To enhance the sense of home, we sourced an antique oak farm table. We collaborated with a Mexican-based artisan to create a large wooden custom pendant lamp. The shade was hand-crafted with bejuco wood (Central-American vine-like plant) hand-picked from the Yucatan peninsula jungle and shaped into a jar-looking lamp shade. This project was an emergence of new forms of production and consumption, respectful of their materials, know-hows and creators.

Expanding the concept of a low waste grocery store, Maison Jar is a platform to educate and be part of a community, introducing an innovative way to shop in the heart of historic Greenpoint district, in Brooklyn.