How can you ask for a community’s trust when you do nothing to earn it?”
— Mikkel Svane, Zendesk CEO
We started with local purchasing and reducing waste, but our community needed more from us. So in 2016, we added our Organization of the Month program, donating one percent of each month’s sales to a chosen nonprofit while offering our time, talent, and space to them. So many of Madison’s nonprofits suffer from a shortage of funds, exposure, meeting space, or volunteers. After a few years of this program, we dug deeper and introduced our Root Partners program in 2020, choosing four nonprofits dear to us that we had already developed relationships with. More about our 2020 Root Partners HERE.
Our 72-seat restaurant serves approximately 3,000 customers every week, employs 40 people, and supports numerous local nonprofits each year with financial donations, sponsorships and event partnerships. Our Sustainability Team was developed to think critically about how to use our visibility, our space, our purchasing power, our team, our hiring policies, and every other aspect of our business to multiply the impact of Madison’s nonprofits.
By volunteering to serve on our Sustainability Team, our employees help us work toward four goals:
- Achieve racial equity in Madison
- Improve access to alternative, safe transit for all
- Minimize waste
- Sustainable Purchasing (focusing on businesses owned by women and people of color)
Sound like a lot?
Just imagine what we could do if we were a billion-dollar insurance or software company.