Our Environment, Animal Tips & the Great Outdoors

Rural Center Refillery Brings Eco-Friendly Options and Sustainability to the Pine Plains Community

By Published On: July 14th, 2023

“A small step forward.”

That’s how Corey and Nicole Clanahan, owners of the Rural Center Refillery in Pine Plains, NY, describe their business’ mission.

“One thing we’ve come to learn about the store, ourselves, and community members is that everyone can do so much,” Corey says. “It’s a big impact on a smaller scale.”

The idea for Rural Center Refillery, commonly dubbed “The Refillery,” was inspired by a need that Corey and Nicole saw in the community, while also remaining environmentally responsible.

“I’ve always waited on customers, and I want to wait on community members,” Corey says. “We want to be a local small business and work with our community to have a symbiotic relationship. I want to know people’s names and be able to say hello when they come into the shop.”

Nicole notes that their kids attend school in the Pine Plains district, so it was important for them to be located in their own community. Nicole also says that their kids were a big part of why they decided to open the Refillery in the first place.

“It might be a small drop in the bucket of what needs to happen, but it gets it moving,” she says. It’s setting the trajectory in the right way for the future generation.”

Corey also has a landscaping business, which requires him to drive a truck. In order to try and offset the environmental impact that has, he tries to eliminate packaging in his products and the items he uses, so the “impact is great, despite smaller sacrifices.”

Corey and Nicole note that the idea of going plastic-free can be pretty daunting at first. “You don’t have to make a drastic change in order to make a progressive change,” Corey says. “Start off getting laundry detergent or coffee beans, and then you can build upon the things that you’re doing.”

Corey also notes that he and Nicole heavily vet the companies that they get products from and work with to ensure that they have the most sustainable practices possible.

“You don’t have to wake up and immediately make a huge change. This week do one thing, and then next week do another.”

One of the things Corey and Nicole wanted the most when opening the Refillery was to ensure that it was a space that is accessible and where everyone feels welcome.

“We really want to be for everybody,” says Nicole. “We try very hard to be accessible, and we want to make this something that you can afford to buy. We know it’s a new concept, and we’re here to help.”

They note that they’ve seen waste and the power of convenience, and they want consumers to know that they don’t have to sacrifice convenience in order to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

“I’ve been into some refilleries where I didn’t feel eco-warrior enough,” Corey adds. “That’s not what I want to do here. I want people to come into the fold and be able to say ‘okay, I want to make a change that’s beneficial for myself, my wallet, and the environment.’ It’ll slowly snowball from there.”

Nicole wants anyone who feels as though making this change will inconvenience their lifestyle to know that it’s much easier and more attainable than it seems. “Once a community is given options to be plastic free, it becomes so much easier,” she says. “It’s hard when your only options are online, because there’s transport, shipping, and plastic packaging. We’re here to give you an option to cut all of those out.”

She also notes that while it may be a bit of a “weird” transition at first, over time it becomes second nature and is a healthier way to live.

At the Refillery, you can find everything from laundry soap, bamboo toilet paper and paper towels, to deodorant and toothpaste tablets, to beans, nuts, and even candy.

“On the food side, we try to carry organic and local,” Nicole says. “Transport of food has a big carbon footprint as well, and we put real emphasis on New York based products that can be shipped within a day.”

They also try to carry local skincare and body care products, but Nicole notes that it’s “a little harder on that side,” so they try to ensure that the businesses that they work with are as low waste as possible. “It’s amazing how many plastic bottles we’re eliminating this way,” she says.

They also source foods and products from a variety of local farms and companies.

The Refillery partners with Hudson Valley Skincare for much of their bulk body care products and with SallyeAnder in Beacon for soaps. They source coffee locally from Winchell Mountain Coffee in Pine Plains, as well as from Monkey Joe Roasting Company in Kingston. Other local sources include Tierra Farms in Valatie, Hudson Valley Hops & Grains, Remsburger Honey, and Sunbeam Candles. Nicole says that they’re always encouraging small businesses with sustainable practices to reach out to the Refillery.

The Clanahans try to keep prices as low as possible at the Refillery to appeal to first-timers and regular eco-friendly shoppers. “We keep that in mind with the price point and the things we carry,” Nicole says. “We really try to carry staple products and things you regularly need to give you an alternative so you can put a positive foot forward.”

Mostly, though, Nicole and Corey want the community to know that they’re there and they’re accessible. “If you’re already on board with the environment, then this is a great place to shop, but if you’re not, it’s still a place that you can shop.”

Rural Center Refillery
2881 Church St, Pine Plains, NY 12567 (845) 867-6557
Monday, Thursday, Saturday, 10am-5pm Tuesday, 5-8pm
Friday, 10am-8pm Sunday, 10am-3pm