Mountain Mercato has received the Leaders in Environmentally Accountable Foodservice (LEAF) certification!!!! And we all could not be more proud.
It is amazing, I didn’t realize how much we recycle as a cafe and grocery store until the figures and descriptions were delivered from the LEAF assessment. Even when we weren’t thinking, “lets try and go green”, we had already established a good ground base for a green certification. For example, 40% of what we purchase comes from 500 km or less. This mainly comes from the cheeses that we purchase locally and all the fresh organic produce that we sell to customers and use in our menu items. Buying local means that when the food is not available, its not available. Society in general has been spoiled with mass grocery stores that provide all the vegetables and fruit from around the world, no matter what the season. That is what makes spring so special at MM. It is the only time when we get rhubarb and asparagus, and it makes those foods so much better. You know they are fresh. Ran a little off course there, but lets get back to the point.
Mountain Mercato has always been very focused on the total consumption of produce. Elana detests throwing out food if she can help it. This means that she has to be pretty innovative sometimes with making the soups and features by using what ingredients are available. I have learned so much from her creative combining of ingredients, and the food she makes always turns out delicious! It’s fantastic.
Other things that we have been doing throughout the years include our olive oil program, where we encourage customers to reuse their olive oil bottles. We also don’t sell bottled flat water, we have a tap water station instead.
In order to hit the mark for the LEAF certification we also switched to using Bullfrog- a green energy provider, recycling all napkins and paper in the bathroom and keeping the doors closed to keep out hot air.
We are now striving for the second level of the LEAF certification. This includes looking at how we could compost and incorporating more vegan items into the menu. So look for a vegan feature panini in the future!
It is great that MM has been recognized for our efforts in environmental stewardship. I am looking for the day when it is a habit and a standard to be conscious of the environment and all people are aware. MM has joined the shift towards this, and I couldn’t be prouder.
"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." — Mahatma Gandhi