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

Babe Ruth Softball World Series

Babe Ruth Softball World Series Expected To Boost Local Economy

The Hal Brady Recreation Complex in Alachua and Champions Park in Newberry are hosting teams for the Babe Ruth League World Series. Sixty-one teams will compete in various tournament styles beginning on July 31 and ending with the championship games on August 4.


Charlie’s Snow Shack serves Hawaiian shaved ice out of a stationary food truck in northwest Gainesville. The food truck expanded from initially offering 18 flavors when it opened in 2012 to its current 32. Scott St. Lifer / WUFT News

Inexpensive Business Model Provides Success for Local Food Trucks

Off The Griddle is one of the food trucks in Gainesville that provide alternative dining options. Michael Musoke, owner of Off The Griddle, said the trucks cost between $20,000 to $100,000, which is less than it would to open and maintain a restaurant.


Florida Innovation Hub, located in downtown Gainesville. (photo by Samuel Navarro).

Gainesville Strives To Become Florida’s Technology Hub

Florida’s tax-friendly laws and Gainesville’s status as a college town makes it an attractive location for tech companies.


Kristen Hadeed, founder of Student Maid, and Rich Blaser, co-founder of Infinite Energy, explain how Josh impacted the start-up community in Gainesville. They were part of a group of young entrepreneurs in Gainesville who met monthly to discuss their work.

Memorial Held for Gainesville Entrepreneur

A memorial for Josh Greenberg, the co-founder of music streaming service Grooveshark, was held Friday evening at the Phillips Center. He was found dead in his home July 19.


Gainesville Regional Airport.

City Commission Passes Ordinance To Regulate Uber

In an effort to even the scales, the Gainesville City Commission voted Thursday afternoon to regulate app-based transportation services like Uber. The ordinance will hold them to standards similar to those of traditional taxi drivers.


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
Underwriting Payments