WUFT News

Gainesville restaurant sells soil back to farmers

By on April 9th, 2013

By Kayla Marcus — WUFT contributor

Tempo Bistro to Go is the latest Gainesville restaurant to team up with a community group in composting its waste and selling the soil back to farmers.

The restaurant located at the corner of Northwest 16th Street and Northwest 13th Street made its first soil sale on March 20.

Tempo Bistro is one of 18 restaurants and other local businesses that recycle their food scraps in partnership with Gainesville Compost.

Gainesville Compost collects food waste from local restaurants and transforms the scraps into enriched soil to sell to community gardens and farmers.

Compost members pick up food scraps from the restaurants and transport the scraps in buckets with small trailers attached to bicycles.

The collected scraps are taken to compost sites throughout the city, and the compost team adds nutrients over a two-month period. The group sells the enriched soil to area farmers, said Chris Cano, a member of Gainesville Compost.

“Gainesville Compost’s primary goal is to turn waste into food,” he said.

Tempo Bistro also has a compost site behind the restaurant. To sift the soil on site, the Gainesville Compost team created a handmade sifter with a bicycle wheel to rotate and enrich the compost.

Gainesville Compost also planted an outdoor garden behind the restaurant for plants and herbs. An outdoor dining area for customers is next to the garden.

The herbs grown in the backyard garden are used in some of Tempo Bistro’s menu offerings.

Gainesville Compost started in September 2011. “Tempo Bistro was one of the first to contact us with a partnership in mind,” Cano said.

Tempo Bistro partnered with Buy Local North Central Florida and pays a membership fee so it can buy food from local farmers, said Val Leitner, a leader with Buy Local North Central Florida.

“It’s not a get-rich-quick kind of business,” Leitner said. “Most restaurants only make a 5 to 15 percent profit margin at most. When restaurants choose to go local, the food costs go through the roof.”

Buy Local advertised for Tempo Bistro on area television. Nathan Harris, a restaurant employee, said the adverting brought in more business.

“We have been open for two years, and business has steadily gotten better,” he said.

Tempo Bistro works to localize food with its Buy Local partnership and reduces the amount of food waste through Gainesville Compost, Leitner said.

“Tempo Bistro embodies true social entrepreneurship,” she said.  “They have a true love and commitment to localizing food and the food process.”


This entry was posted in Business and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=782345703 Brent Shek

    And it doesnt hurt that the food is out of this world. Amazing actually!

  • Rick and Cindy Drum

    Excellent!!

  • Russ Anderson

    The Garden was actually done in Partnership between Gainesville Compost and Urban Heirlooms. Learn more at http://www.UrbanHeirlooms.net

 

More Stories in Business

Personal liaison Daniel Araque delivers groceries to a Gainesville resident. Lazy Delivery offers delivery from any brick and mortar stores in the area within two hours.

Three Unlikely Business Owners Expand Gainesville Company To Tallahassee

Manuel Zelaya, his brother Daniel and their longtime friend Marc Charbel are in their mid-twenties and co-founders of Lazy Delivery, a business that delivers groceries and other items from physical stores to area residents. They are expanding their business to Tallahassee later this month.


Wendy Newman, co-owner of The Talented Cookie Company, ices an order of cookies decorated to look like limes. The Talented Cookie Company is moving into The Corner next month.

Local Entrepreneurs Unite To Create High Springs Hangout

Two couples combine four businesses to make one large hangout for High Springs. The opening of The Corner is scheduled for next month.


Luke Kemper, the owner of Swamp Head Brewery, shares a laugh over a beer with tactical manager Brandon Nappy. The brewery creates many seasonable beers but has found success from the first original five beers, which are available year round.

Swamp Head Becomes First Solar-Powered Brewery In Florida

Swamp Head Brewery has moved to a new location and installed solar panels, becoming the first solar-powered brewery in Florida. Their goal has always been to become more sustainable, and they have taken other initiatives such as buying land for preservation and aiding in conservation efforts to do so.


IMG_0546

Downtown Development Anchors Palatka Revitalization

The city of Palatka is revitalizing its downtown through several development projects. At its center is the restoration of four vacant buildings that will contain commercial, residential and retail spaces.


Customers shop in the produce section of Lucky's Market.

Lucky’s Market Adds To Continued Restoration of Northwest 13th Street

Lucky’s Market is part of a growing trend of businesses opening along NW 13th Street, showing a push toward commercial restoration of the area. Other companies, retailers and small businesses may follow as a result of a more stable local economy.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments