How to go about serving up coffee in our eatery became quite the discussion. Unwilling to compromise on taste and our waste reducing ethics, we decided to go down a different route.
From the kitchen to behind the bar, cafés and restaurants produce a lot of waste. Over 250,000 tonnes of food waste per year in Australia ends up in landfill, to be precise. And that’s only one third of the waste produced in the hospitality industry! We know – it shocked us too.
They say waste is a lack of imagination, so here at My Grandma Ben we’re ready to shake things up and do things a little differently to reduce these numbers in any way we possibly can.
First and foremost we believe in reducing food waste. The menu at our eatery celebrates the seasons, champions local growers, and supports ethical food production and sustainable business practices. We adore pickling, dig a bit of ferment action and love making preserves and chutneys to ensure no part of an abundant crop goes to waste. We’ll also be working with local farmers and food retailers to ensure food is utilised before turning to landfill, and we’re choosing ‘ugly’ fruit and vegetables so that farmers are paid for produce that would otherwise be rejected.
We’re taking inspiration from the simpler times, too, by cooking true to the seasons with the occasional nod to our elders and old school cooking techniques, utilising every scrap of food we can, just as Grandma Ben would have done!
But what about outside of the kitchen? There isn’t much of a spotlight on other areas of a food or hospitality business when it comes to minimising waste and choosing ethical businesses to work with.
Until recently, we were unaware of the waste produced in the world of coffee, especially when using an espresso machine. Obviously caffeine is non-negotiable, which is why we’ll be pouring you delicious cups of filter coffee instead at My Grandma Ben. That’s right, filter coffee is back in a big way.
The decision not to serve espresso coffee is based on our dedication to producing as little waste as possible in all areas of our business – from saving coffee grounds, milk, water and energy, to ditching disposable take away cups all together. The excellent Norwegian engineering behind our Moccamaster coffee machine coupled with the precision and accuracy of a by-weight grinder means we’re always using the exact amount of coffee needed for a great brew, significantly minimising coffee waste.
Milk wastage is still high in a number of cafés, caused simply by over pouring or over stretching milk for espresso coffee. Of course we will still have milk to add to your cup of joe. Cow, almond, soy – whatever takes your fancy – we’ll have it on hand to make you a great cup of coffee just how you like it.
By using beans roasted locally by our friends at Monday’s Coffee Store, we hope to make you think a little more about where your coffee has come from. Monday’s Coffee Store source the highest quality coffee they can get their hands on, often working with Shared Source, a green coffee agency that facilitates robust, transparent and equitable exchange between roasters and small producers. Their model empowers coffee artisans to farm regeneratively and enables them to make a real living from farming coffee.
Staying true to our core values, we’re taking our zero-waste decision pretty seriously and not offering single-use disposable takeaway cups at all in our eatery. Australians consume a scary 50,000 disposable takeaway cups every 30 minutes (yikes!), most of which end up in landfill.
We believe we must live the change we want to see, and we’d love your support if you believe that too. Instead, we’ll encourage you to give yourself an extra couple of minutes to enjoy your coffee in-house, or you can bring your own reusable coffee cup. Don’t have one? Never fear! We’re stocking gorgeous locally made ceramic reusable mugs that will have you basking in compliments from your admiring (and maybe jealous) friends.