Known for its towering forests, lush vineyards, vibrant gardens and natural attractions, the Yarra Valley and Dandenong Ranges have always been the ‘lungs’ of Melbourne.
As such, sustainability is always in season here and across the region, businesses are implementing environmental and socially responsible initiatives at the forefront of their core business, ensuring our region stays clean and green for generations to come.
We found three eateries leading the charge when it comes to serving up deliciously sustainable initiatives for their dine-in and takeaway treats.
The Grub Club hospitality group encompasses three popular eateries in the region including Bam Bam Italian, The General Food Store and Incy Wincy, all of which have put sustainability at the forefront of their business as well as a prepared meal delivery service.
Owner Paul 'Dougie' Douglas has had nearly 30 years of experience as a chef, beginning his career working in some of London's top fine dining restaurants before travelling to New Zealand and Australia, where he continued to gain experience in the hospitality industry. In Melbourne, Dougie met Belinda Smullen, a communication designer and fellow hospitality lover.
Since 2011, Dougie and Bel (pictured above) teamed up to launch their first venture, The General Food Store. Over the years, their customers requested more of their hospitality, so the desire to provide the region with new food experiences was born.
"Throughout our 12 years in hospitality, we’ve always wanted to ensure we’re making sustainable choices for the planet to reduce our businesses' footprint, and to help our customers make sustainable choices too," says Belinda.
"Our customers choose to visit us over other venues due to our commitment to ethical practices – customers are seeking this out more and more, and we’re proud to operate in a way that supports a healthier environmental future.
While they encourage diners to enjoy their menus in-house to reduce takeaway packaging where possible, when it’s not possible, they’ve included everyday initiatives such as choosing compostable and recyclable takeaway cups, to offering a discounted rate for coffee to customers bringing their reusable cups to choosing sustainable suppliers.
Didn’t bring your reusable cup? You can also purchase one at The General Food Store or Incy Wincy and get your first coffee fill-up on the house.
All three venues use biodegradable and compostable packaging and that also includes their catering offerings where food packaging comes in brown paper, and biodegradable ‘vege plastic’.
Likewise, all three venues use Coffee Supreme, a supplier using
recyclable packaging for both in-house and retail coffee bags. Customers
can also benefit from their in-house composting program and can collect
compost including free coffee grounds for their home composting and even
leftover bread (popular for those with home chooks!)
Even further, The General Food Store is solar power operated with
roughly 80% of their
electricity generated per annum via the solar panelling and prepared
meal service, Grub Club cooks in order to eliminate food waste. A
once-weekly delivery service means they also reduce driving emissions.
Their pre-made food delivery service offers a great way to cut back on everyday food waste. Order as little or as much as you'll need from their weekly menus and it'll arrive at your door in environmentally friendly packaging and delicious. They cater to a huge range of dietary requirements and have developed an offering specifically for National Disability Insurance Scheme, and Home Care Package participants.
Whether you're eating in or grabbing a bite to go, put these on your to-dine list and enjoy a delicious day out in the Dandenong Ranges.