Friday, February 6, 2009


Not only has the grocery bag gone green, it’s gotten more stylish. Three Austin women came up with an idea to take the reusable grocery bag to new heights.

The bag system rolls into one.
It’s a five-piece green system for getting your groceries home created by three Austin women.

The name of the company is Blue Avocado. The product is called the gro-pak.

The bag has a place for all of your grocery bag needs, with the intent to keep you organized.

When not in use, the big bag rolls up nicely. It’s perfect for folks who have all different reusable bags strewn around their cars.

The creators said the goal was to make a bag that is compact and fits all in one place.

“That really was the point of this -- to add a little organization so you don’t have 15 bags across the back of your car,” Melissa Nathan of Blue Avocado said. “Things fold up, there’s a place for everything. It’s a little bit stylish so you feel good walking out of the grocery store.”

The bag system includes a mesh veggie bag which can hold plenty of vegetables.

“You can just take your vegetables wash them under the sink and stick them right into the refrigerator,” Nathan said.

The pak includes the “Chill,” a messenger-style insulated bag that keeps items hot or cold for three hours.

Nathan said she can fit three gallons of milk and at least one tub of ice cream in her Chill.

The gro-pak came to fruition after the women surveyed about 300 people online.

The gro-pak creators Paige Davis and Melissa Nathan are sisters. Nathan and Amy George attended the University of Texas McCombs School of Business together.
“We knew a few things,” Paige Davis of Blue Avocado said. “It had to be functional – that’s the collapsibility of it. It had to have a fashion component – people wanted to feel good. And, of course, the green for us – and that’s where our carbon label and our partnership with really impacted that.” is a micro-lending concept that gives loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries.

“To date, we’ve provided loans for over 20 women, micro-entrepreneurs,” Davis said.

But, that’s not where the gro-pak’s good stops.

“All of our products are made out of post-consumer material,” Amy George of Blue Avocado said. “The bags themselves – each of them has a label that shows you how many plastic bags you’re avoiding. We help the average shopper reduce by about 1,000 plastic bags per year.”

Just last year, Blue Avocado helped avoid the use of 3.5 million plastic bags.

Bags in more male-friendly neutral colors like gray and black are coming soon from Blue Avocado.

You can get the gro-pak at Whole Foods and Breed and Company locally or online.

Right now, Blue Avocado is offering a Valentine’s Day special on their Web site.

By: Rachel Elsberry