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

Cory Wise (left) and Courtney Buckley (right) work together to clean a residence. Wise and Buckley work for Student Maid, owned by Kristen Hadeed.

National Organizations Encourage Female Business Owners

What started out as a cleaning job to pay for a pair of jeans turned into a booming Gainesville business. Since then, business owner Kristen Hadeed’s cleaning company, Student Maid, has been successful and is growing daily.


First Magnitude Brewing Company in Gainesville fills growlers in the 32-ounce size (left) and the gallon size (right). A longstanding ban on the popular 64-ounce growler prevents Florida craft breweries from filling or selling containers of that size.

Florida’s Craft Beer Industry Sees Growth Despite Growler Ban

Florida brewers are thriving despite a controversial law that prohibits the sale of 64-ounce beer growlers. A lawsuit calling the limit unconstitutional could change all that.


The Blanche Hotel is proposed to undergo a $14 million renovation to bring more businesses to downtown Lake City.

Historic Lake City Hotel to Undergo $14 Million Renovation

A project to renovate the historic Blanche Hotel in downtown Lake City will soon be underway. Lake City Mayor Stephen Witt said he is hoping the renovations bring new allure to downtown Lake City.


A Season’s Waste Makes Wine

Island Grove LLC., a Hawthorne berry farm, made a partnership to found a winery that makes use of the berries left in the fields at the end of the season that would have been frozen or thrown away.


GRU

Gainesville Hires Third Party for GRU Audit, Examines GREC Contract

Gainesville Regional Utilities will be audited by a third party to investigate a 30-year contract between the company and the owners of a biomass plant.


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