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Local & Regional
We’re inspired by the bounty offered by local farmers and producers season-by-season. Our ingredients, sourced from 51 main local farms and other purveyors, travel an average of 37.5 miles to get to our kitchen.
Chowgirls is doing a fantastic job of creating a culture of sustainability. You’ve incorporated some practices that go above and beyond standard business procedures and really make an impact on the waste you create. It’s great to have an example to share with other businesses on how to make this work.
Amy Maas, Business Recycling Specialist, Hennepin County
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
When we started Chowgirls in 2004, we noticed there weren’t any organic caterers in the Twin Cities. Our decision to use organic ingredients not only made us stand out — it set us on a pathway to sustainability.
As we’ve grown, so has our commitment to environment and community. We started working with local farmers, like Larry Schultz, Hope Creamery, and Thousand Hills, in 2006. A couple years later, we participated in a pilot program with Eureka Recycling to bring commercial compost services into local restaurants, pioneering a trend that’s now commonplace in homes and businesses. Over the years, we’ve partnered to find new ways to reduce waste, including plastic film recycling through Merrick and a food rescue program with Second Harvest Heartland that paved the way for Kitchen Coalition.
We’re always scouting innovative ways to make a difference and model how businesses can successfully integrate environmentally conscious practices into the workplace.
Our commitment to seasonal ingredients reflects the harvest of regional crops, and in turn, our values. Out-of-season produce travels from far reaches of the world, increasing environmental impact. We also find that seasonal fruits and vegetables are more fresh in flavor and precious in appearance. A perfect example of this is the simple strawberry — red and sweet in June, white and tart in January.
We created a seasonal chart to guide our chefs in purchasing and our event specialists in planning. It also includes a chart that helps us know which produce is most important to prioritize as organic.
Want to see the story behind Chowgirls?