Sustainability Storytelling – The Green Panther

Sustainability Storytelling – The Green Panther
November 25, 2016 Emie-Claude Lamoureux

The Green Panther restaurant is a prime ambassador of a sustainable and healthy business. In my opinion, the eatery is part of the organic hub, but also a community game-changer which incorporates practical eco-friendly methods and strategies.

For its seven years in business, the restaurant that was conceived as one of the first organic “meals-on-wheels” style enterprise has just opened a fifth location in Montreal. Chaim Shoham, founder of The Green Panther, sought to inspire a restaurant that fosters environmental stewardship, which goes hand in hand with good health and organic meals.

Local and Organic

By the same token, I see the steps they’ve taken within their supply chain to be their sustainable highlight. To be organic and local requires a lot of people – in any given week the restaurant receives deliveries from 30 to 40 suppliers! With the purpose of mapping their supply chain on a local scale,

The Green Panther has a great partnership with local merchant Francis Madore from “Les Jardins d’Ambroisie” who runs a vegetable basket subscription service and also a farmer’s market on Saint-Viateur Street every Thursday evening.

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Photo credit: http://thegreenpanther.com/about/

Bulk Deliveries

For instance, why buy mushrooms or carrots from across the world that are packaged in endless amounts of plastic and saran wrap to ensure freshness during their journey to arrive in our hands, when you can buy them locally in bulk recyclable cardboard containers?

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Similarly, another key partnership with local business – Cha’s Organic – provides the restaurant with additional organic and fair trade herbs and spices.

This cooperation, together with a loyal clientele has helped build The Green Panther’s reputation and network and they can now source a larger variety of products. In particular, they now offer some gluten free pastas and noodles in their salads after an arrangement was made with the producers. This contract entails having the pastas delivered to their kitchens in large bulk and recyclable sacks instead of individual, plastic 500g packages.

This is truly a remarkable effort as the restaurant brings to fruition a greener and progressive supply chain from the extent of their network.

In fact, they’ve even established another significant partnership with Compost Montréal for their composting needs, as this isn’t (yet) a service offered by the city of Montreal.

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In alignment with these partnerships, the owners have a different method to running the restaurant than what we typically see, and that’s exactly what they wanted to achieve – to eliminate food waste from their operations.

Before they choose to develop a product or recipe, the team evaluates if it can be created with little to zero waste, or whether a byproduct from a different recipe or procedure can be used.

For one thing, their broccoli soup uses broccoli stalks which are normally thrown away and contribute to the 35% of produce food that is thrown away annually in Montreal. If the restaurant cannot find a way to develop a recipe by using ingredients in a sustainable manner, they simply eliminate it from their menu.

Green Policy

Another environmental and fresh tactic – the restaurant has a very cool “Green Policy”, which states that if you bring your own container, you receive a discount on your purchase! I have to say, it felt pretty good giving them my Tupperware the other day!

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Even though it’s a given, I always like to mention that the restaurant uses only biodegradable cleaning and take-out products. Their locations are styled with great second hand equipment and furniture and painted with non-toxic paints.

The team has recently transferred many of their forms to an online service to reduce paper use, and now serve organic beers in their restaurant and bar. One last fun feature is this – the prices of many of their ready-to-go products drop daily as it gets closer to its expiration date to ensure no wasted meals. The team prefers to give it away then to see it go to the garbage!

The Green Panther team has impressed me and pushed my understanding of Montreal’s food sustainability community beyond my expectations. Today we still live in a world where you receive more costs and roadblocks for being sustainable and attempt to do good for your community.

Every aspect is a little bit harder, such as sourcing the right producers, suppliers and services but it hasn’t stopped the team from sticking to their core values. I think it’s pretty clear why we should cheer on restaurants such as The Green Panther.

Having tried the food myself, I can say without a doubt that it’s extremely fresh, flavourful and glowing with beautiful natural colours. I’m convinced its humming atmosphere has to do with the all-organic meals, which are free of preservatives and artificial flavours. Montreal folks, what are you waiting for? Go taste the fresh, organic and delicious meals, snacks and treats this restaurant has to offer!

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