People before profit

Treating our employees fairly is an investment in the long-term success of our business and the well-being of our community. We are vocal supporters of a living wage, paid sick days and fair scheduling practices.

In August 2023 we became certified by the Ontario Living Wage Network. A living wage is not the same as the minimum wage, which is the legislated minimum all employers must pay and is set by the provincial government. The living wage reflects what people need to earn to cover the actual costs of living and enjoy participation in their community. It draws on community-specific data and is different for every city. Living wage employers like us voluntarily decide to pay a living wage and maintain their certification as new rates are calculated for their area.

We are proud to be the only grocery store in Ottawa to commit to paying a living wage, and one of only 8 in the whole Province of Ontario. 


We are environmental activists at heart and the protection and preservation of our planet is NU's reason to be. While our focus is on waste reduction, we know that environmental issues are highly intertwined. Promoting the zero waste lifestyle means proposing an alternative to the reckless consumerism that depletes our resources and threatens our life support systems. 


An important aspect of the zero waste lifestyle is to buy less, and to buy better. That's why our products are carefully curated. We favour all-natural, organic and locally sourced food products made with ingredients that we can all understand. Our non-food products are plastic-free, made with sustainable materials, cruelty-free and contain no harmful chemicals.

Zero Waste Operations

The average Canadian might produce a whopping 700 kg of waste per year (one of the highest rates in the industrial world), but waste is created throughout the supply chain.

At NU, we work constantly to keep our operations as low waste as possible. This means favouring local suppliers who deliver with reusable containers and take them back (circular supply chain), composting organic waste, reusing cardboard boxes from our suppliers for our own deliveries, and more!


We are proud to be one of the hubs of Ottawa's ever-growing zero waste community. NU is more than a storefront. NU is a platform to exchange and educate about waste. We offer regular free workshops on waste-related topics and share many resources and tips on our social media. We have also given many talks in schools, universities, government agencies and at public events on the topic of zero waste and responsible consumerism.