Sustainability or being eco-friendly is a conscious choice that all of us should make daily. Making these choices as an individual is one thing but doing it as a business with huge costs involved, especially with ordering-in being on high demand due to the lockdown is a completely different story.
But it does not discourage The Pantry Café, a quaint little café in the heart of Mumbai at Kala Ghoda, from being as sustainable as possible. We conversed with Vijay Mohit, the Restaurant Manager at The Pantry Café, to know more about how they do it.
Change begins at home and The Pantry Café team surely believes that “while the packaging is an important element in the sustainable movement, we also try and implement these practices in our kitchen in terms of food,” said Vijay Mohit. They work closely with the partners and chefs to ensure that the food wastage is at the minimum. The organic veggie scraps are used in their dishes such as the carrot-oat crackers. The pomegranate and the orange peels are used for their detox tea and probiotic soda.
They even try to keep the wastage in the wares to the utmost minimum, for example, the plastic containers and bottles in which their burrata cheese and kefir is delivered are reused to store the spices and the probiotic soda. And they also use eco-friendly cleaners at the café.
Disposing of wet and dry waste properly is important and a major part of sustainability. Decomposing of the wet waste in a space-constrained city like Mumbai can prove to be difficult. But The Pantry Café proves that when you want to make a sustainable choice, nothing is impossible. Though the café doesn’t have its own compost it has partnered with a third party that collects all the wet waste once in a week and decomposes it for them. This is one idea that many of the restaurants in a city like Mumbai can adopt.
Vijay said, “Currently, as per government norms we are only offering delivery and takeaway facility to our guests and have restricted options available.” But this most definitely hasn’t stopped them from using sustainable materials for delivery. The cutlery and the packaging that they use is completely eco-friendly and made from Bagasse and corn starch, which is reusable after wash. They even spread the message along with each delivery, “there are messages on the packaging to push our guests to reuse the material after getting food delivery,” said Vijay.
Sustainability being a niche and all the materials not being mass-produced can get a tad expensive, but it doesn’t deter The Pantry Café from bearing these costs, going all out and doing what’s best for the environment. As Vijay Mohit said, “small steps that we hope will cause a big impact in the long run,” The Pantry Café believes in doing their bit for the good of the environment.