Green Business Case Study: Extra Thyme Catering

Extra Thyme Café and Catering

Kim Cuddebank’s investments in sustainable practices and national Green Restaurant certification give her workplace and special event catering business a competitive edge with the corporate clients she tastefully serves.

Green Measures at Work in this Business:
  • Partnering with corporate café building owner Graybar Electric Company to recycle in one Graybar St. Louis location has helped expand recycling to Graybar facilities nationwide, yielding trash-bill savings.
  • Single-stream recycling coupled with composting of food waste and food-service products have reduced trash by almost 90% in Extra Thyme’s corporate café.
    • Trash output, now mostly limited to chip bags and shrink wrap, is down to one 5-gallon bucket per week.
  • Sharing recycling services for other waste items (batteries, plastic bags, printer cartridges, etc.) with café host company Graybar.
  • Purchasing all food and beverage condiments in bulk, and using refillable serving items, cuts costs for these items.
    • For example, one #10 can of ketchup costs less than 1,000 packets – and the can is recyclable.
  • Offering refill pricing for customers with reusable beverage cups.
  • A switch to reusable serving trays and bowls for off-site and special event catering yields significant cost savings plus direct exchanges of customer feedback when these items are retrieved by Extra Thyme staff.
  • Cleaning products are either Green Seal Certified national brands or a verifiably-Green local product line – which are effective and healthier to use.
  • Joined the national Green Restaurant Association and earned two-star rating as a Certified Green Restaurant – one of only four in St. Louis - with plans to renew and improve.

This Business has More Green Plans:
  • Eliminating packaging waste – especially waste plastic!
  • Working with other Green-minded businesses and groups to improve local availability and affordability of compostable food service products.
  • Sourcing more menu ingredients from local, sustainable food producers.

Green Ideas Your Business Can Use:
  • Meet with your waste hauler(s) to evaluate cost efficiencies possible when you integrate recycling – and even composting – into waste management strategies.
  • Evaluate the full spectrum of costs of single-use “disposable” items – including ordering time, material management, waste disposal, as well as product costs. You may find that you use far less of a product in refillable, reusable forms.
  • Take advantage of legitimate Green-certification opportunities to build your Green knowledge base and boost the profile and marketability of your services.
  • Explore opportunities for partnership with building management or a business that “hosts” your operation – your Green initiatives may yield efficiencies and cost savings for all partners!

Certified by the Green Restaurant Association, a national organization.