Butter Bakery and Cafe owner, Dan Swenson-Klatt, on how his restaurant is working to lessen their impact on the environment.
Q: How does Butter Bakery’s product differ from a conventional restaurant?
A: It’s our goal to choose as many local and sustainable foods as possible. We have worked with the May Farm CSA to help us provide many of those during the growing months, and we work with Hope Creamery out of the Hastings area for our dairy. I also seek out local foods from farmers markets, request local foods from my vendors, and make switches to local foods when they become available. I get pretty excited about meeting local producers and finding ways to put them to work! Do It Green! Minnesota
Q: How does Butter Bakery reduce landfill waste?
A: We compost nearly everything through Randy’s Sanitation. What we can’t recycle or re-use is down to plastic bags and a few foil lined items. Once we come up with a better way to collect and recycle plastic bags our trash will be nearly nothing! We have a list of the items we throw away and are always looking for the alternative that will allow us to compost or recycle it.
Q: Has Butter Bakery’s green transformation helped evoke change and education in the community?
A: We are a part of the Nicollet East Harriet Business Association, which is where we got our grant to reform. Our willingness to change our restaurant led others in the area to look at the possibilities, too. We’re thankful for folks like Scott at Corner Table who jumped in right away. We followed his lead and we’re glad others are following ours!
We’re also increasing the demand for green products. Each time I ask my vendors if they have an eco-friendly version they get the message that this is what to supply, what to hunt down, and what to promote!
Our customers learn about the impact of their dollar every time they come into the bakery. We keep information about all of our eco-products prominently displayed on a board in our shop and it gets noticed. Since changing we have seen more attention from customers who care about these issues, which is great.
Q: What was the most daunting aspect of transforming Butter Bakery into a green restaurant?
A: I was a bit fearful of trading my huge trash dumpster for a small household size garbage can and going every two weeks before a pick up. But if we continue on the way we have been going, I’ll be ready to get a smaller garbage can soon!
Must-Eats at Butter Bakery
Migas with potatoes: Free-range egg frittata with corn tortilla strips, onion, jalapeno, red pepper, cheddar cheese and salsa.
Pat’s veggie sandwich: Bell pepper, lettuce, sprouts, tomato, red onion, mushroom and other seasonal veggies with boursin cheese spread in an organic flour tortilla.
P-T’s tempeh: Tempeh sauted in olive oil and garlic with sprouts, tomato, red onion and spread on toasted whole grain bread.