On this page, we'll talk about general sourcing and purchases for the cocktail bar, including ways to work with local purveyors, local vs organic, food miles, and other factors.
We'd love to hear some of the ways your bars have established connections with other local businesses.
Minimizing single-use deliveries and Over-Packaging
- From this article: To help reduce its carbon footprint, Tayer + Elementary takes a tough stance with environmentally harmful suppliers. “We don’t accept single use containers, etc., from our suppliers and vendors, so they deliver in reusable crates [and other sustainable packaging], which they take back immediately,” says Berg. “Many of our suppliers also deliver by bicycle.
- Later in the same article, a member of Lyaness states, "We also order [local ingredients] in bulk wherever possible in order to reduce the impact of transportation."
- In this Wine Enthusiast story, "Rich and Chambers [of Rhodora Wine Bar] asked a vendor to switch from plastic tape to paper, a change the vendor made for all its accounts. Others who wouldn’t conform to Rhodora’s packaging guidelines were dropped. A baker that delivered in plastic was replaced by one that biked bread to the wine bar in linen bags."
Working with Local Suppliers:
- From this Liquor.com article: "At Lyaness, the team also opts to source ingredients from sustainable suppliers, even though it means going through a greater number of vendors, leading to additional administrative efforts on the bar’s part.... 'It means that we source from a wider range of suppliers, but we know that each of them follow practices that align with our view toward sustainability. '"
- At Duke's Spirited Cocktails, they trade local citrus for bar credit, and provide some advice for establishing these relationships.
- At The Acorn restaurant, the chefs have close relationships with farms and sometimes have requested whole plants to use rather than just the typical fruit/edible part. Bartender Nicholas Box also provides some tips on establishing relationships with suppliers.
- If a staff member is doing purchasing, allow them to make something like a five percent increase in budget for decisions that move toward more sustainable products. (As covered elsewhere on CocktailGreen, you can make purchasing decisions not based on production parameters for products like organic, etc., but also on bottle weight and packaging quantity/reusability.)