When it comes to saving the planet, the Tall Guy team is on it. Or, we’re trying to be. We’re proud to share that we’ve recently become Compost Crusaders, part of the Victory Garden Initiative, and we’re about to host our first Farm to Table dinner this summer. Every little bit counts and I’ve got an eager team, ready to make a difference.
Continue reading to learn more about these earth-friendly initiatives.
Why Did We Become “Compost Crusaders”?
There are a number of reasons. For starters, our Executive Chef, Dana Spandet, and Sous Chef, Kate Block, knew this was important to the Tall Guy mission. While this was always something I’d hoped to implement, life as a business owner can get a little busy. They really brought the idea back to life and made it happen. They also took time to train the team.
Secondly, you wouldn’t believe the how much recycling there is in the food business. Every product we order in bulk is delivered in cardboard – our milk, our meat – we have a lot to recycle. We have recycling collected twice a week and we now have the compost collective scheduled to pick up any food scraps, egg shells, bones, produce, etc., once a week as well.
Being Compost Crusaders takes work, but we know we’re helping to reduce waste and that it’s the right thing to do for the environment.
“Organic wastes, such as food waste and yard waste, make up 25 to 50% of what people throw away. When we throw away yard and food waste, it decomposes in a landfill and releases methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas. While most landfills have the technology to capture much of this methane, eliminating the gas at its source is even better.”
We Compost Offsite, Too!
Dana and Kate also initiated that we compost offsite when catering for corporate events, weddings, and private parties. The staff has been trained to bring all of the dishes into the kitchen and put food scraps into a compost bin. The best part is that everyone on our team is on board. They see the value and it’s really shaped our culture. If you’ve read our last blog about the Tall Guy Team, you’d know how invested everyone is to composting, sustainability, supporting local farmers, and so forth.
Click HERE to learn more about the Tall Guy Team.
Is There a Cost?
Yes, there is an additional cost, but we’re feeding thousands of people each year and the waste adds up. I suppose the time it also takes the team to compost could be factored in too, but, we consider this our carbon footprint. There are a lot of good restaurants in West Allis, like Urban Joe Cafe & Bar, Double B’s BBQ, Chef Paz, and Antigua Latin Inspired Kitchen. Hopefully, we can set a standard for these friends in our community and pave the way for them to jump on board.
I think it’s also important to point out when we’re not serving food on fine china, we’ve invested in using bio-degradable plates and utensils. Patra Eco-Dinnerware is a great local business and every product is earth-friendly (see image to right).
We’ve Taken the Pledge.
This past May, we became part of the Victory Garden Initiative and “pledged to grow more food!” As new members, we now have a garden just outside our back door filled with basil, lavender, and tomatoes. It’s another project we’ve been wanting to do for a long time, and, once again, the team pressed on it. I really have to hand it over to Dana, though. She’s been growing her own produce for years (she even has a bee apiary!) and was the true driver in this.
It would be amazing if everyone pledged to grow more food in our Milwaukee community. If you’d like to learn more about this organization, you can visit their website. And, here’s a little more about their mission: Victory Garden Initiative builds communities that grow their own food, creating a community-based, socially just, environmentally sustainable, nutritious food system for all.
Supporting Local Farmers Matters to Us.
Half of the food ingredients we use at Tall Guy are from Wisconsin, which, believe it or not, is a unique challenge for a caterer. We pay attention to our farmer’s produce, like our good friends at Well Spring Farms, and piece things together to support our menu.
This July, we’re pumped to be hosting our first Farm to Table Event in Janesville, Wisconsin. There are a few tickets left and we anticipate to sell out. We’ve also just finalized the menu (we’re doing this food station style!), so if you’d like a sneak peek, click HERE.
Doing Our Small Part.
As a leader, it’s important to let your team bring ideas to the table. And, you’ve got to trust in those ideas. Everything above – from composting to growing our own food – it’s all them. While I’ve always pressed to source local and build relationships with our farmers, they were the ones looking to improve our earth-friendly efforts. They researched it, organized it, trained our staff, and, today, we’re doing it.