At Café Yumm!, we’re committed to the preservation and stewardship of our environment. This guiding principle is part of our “Triple Bottom Line” which balances social, environmental, and economic concerns of running a restaurant business. You will find dedication to sustainability throughout many facets of our operations. It’s not a policy—it’s a philosophy.
Café Yumm! has been recognized as an innovator in the restaurant industry for sustainability programs over the last three decades. From installing solar panels and electric car charging stations, to removing trash cans from dining rooms and offering bus tubs for sorting washable serviceware, composting food scraps, and recycling, our restaurants place eco-friendly business practices at the forefront. We are honored to have received numerous awards for our environmental values.
Reducing food waste and items entering the landfill is a priority. We have instituted procedures for careful sorting of all “waste” materials within our restaurants for recycling. We also participate in municipal composting programs where available, use durable dishes and plates rather than single-use, and choose biodegradable/compostable takeout packaging options for to-go orders. We also source recycled paper stock for our print materials.
Food security is essential to the wellbeing of our communities. Cafe Yumm! works with food banks in the Pacific Northwest whenever there are opportunities to donate high-quality, nourishing food from our restaurants. Read a story about how we donated 95,000 lbs of black beans to feed those in need throughout our region.
Integrity is one of our core values at Cafe Yumm!, and that includes sourcing the highest quality ingredients. Eating low on the food chain is another important consideration in living more sustainably, and Café Yumm! focuses on ingredients that make eating simple, whole foods more accessible. Each location purchases groceries locally and works to procure organic ingredients whenever possible. Over 50% of the food we serve is certified organic, including: brown rice, red beans, black beans, tofu, tempeh, edamame, tortilla chips, field greens, yogurt, and more. We also partner with organic family farms in the Northwest to grow our black and red beans each year. Buying local helps reduce our carbon footprint while supporting small businesses.
The materials used to build our restaurants also reflect our philosophy. We focus on creating a welcoming and inclusive restaurant experience with comforting elements from nature that are in harmony with sustainability practices.
More than half of our restaurants were designed and built to LEED Silver or better standards—a practice we’ve put into place for all construction projects since 2007. You’ll find pressed wheatboard cabinetry, plywood from sustainably managed forests, remilled, reclaimed, and reused solid woods, and tabletops of biocomposites, like crushed sunflower seeds and recycled paper, that are nearly double the durability of oak. Our outdoor landscaping is designed for low-water usage, and inside our restaurants we decorate with live plants to help naturally improve air quality. (Plus, research shows that the color green provides soothing properties that help reduce stress and improve mood.) We also display original art pieces from around the world rather than mass-produced corporate décor.
We use no neon in our exterior signage, opting for the more expensive, but more environmentally friendly, LED lighting with motion sensors. As an EWEB Greenpower Business Partner, we participate in the Eugene Water and Electric Board’s wind power initiative, subscribing to more than 100,000-kilowatt hours of wind power annually.
Be sure to visit our Argyle Square location in Wilsonville if you need an EV charging station!
Supporting organizations in our community that work to secure clean water, protect greenspaces, and provide food to those in need is a crucial part of our commitment. Each year, we partner with groups like Friends of Trees, Earth Day Oregon, Oregon Food Bank, Black Food Sovereignty Coalition, McKenzie River Trust, and many others with donations and sponsorships in support of their missions.
Find more stories about sustainability at Cafe Yumm! restaurants on our blog.