Behind-the-scenes: A look inside a plant-based restaurant’s pantry

What does a green pantry really look like?

author_img U.Roy Published :  19th August 2021 03:55 PM   |   Published :   |  19th August 2021 03:55 PM
Greenr cafe

Left: Gluten-free Saigon rice paper roll featuring functional foods; Right: Martin Cold Brew is crafted with recyclable and compostable materials such as glass, paper and cork

Eating green in 2021 could be a chore if one hasn’t figured out the right sources. But homegrown brands are ramping up efforts to make room for sustainability-driven production and community-focused modus operandi. The California-inspired, plant-based restaurant Greenr Cafe already has three outlets in Delhi, and just opened its first outlet in Mumbai. 

The brand has built an alternate supply chain with small and regional producers as part of its growth strategy.“We have national suppliers that are reviving and transforming agriculture and small-scale food processing facilities. We are proud to empower women and social entrepreneurs through our sourcing practices,” says Vaibhav Nagori, Founding Partner and COO.

greenr cafe
The Bombay Seoul sandwich replaces potato with sweet potato and integrates functional foods such as kimchi 

But how exactly do things work on a day-to-day level in a green kitchen? Nitin Dixit and Mohit Yadav, the founders of Greenr cafe share that they almost exclusively work with local farmers and artisans, for raw materials, tableware, light fixtures, furniture artworks etc. The brand partners with local specialty suppliers in each city for Kombucha, ice cream, bread, and daily bakes to encourage local entrepreneurs and also minimise transportation which could add to the carbon footprint.

greenr cafe
The Baja Black Bean bowl is made on a bed of barnyard millet

Greenr Cafe grows its herbs, seasonal edible flowers, and decorative greens such as the Malabar Spinach to maximise the usage of outdoors to produce food for the community. The brand also uses all of their coffee grounds as plant food for our outdoor seating space and uses the mineral-rich water from soaked legumes etc. to water indoor plants.

While our food is certainly the core offering, what adds to the magic of Greenr Café is that it has galvanized the community and allowed us to become a platform for alternative and sustainable living. We also spend a lot of time on choosing our locations – making pronounced efforts to conserve local architecture and introduce leading design interventions,” shares founder Mohit Yadav. 

greenr cafe
The rusticised, minimalist interiors of Greenr Cafe, Bandra

Greenr Cafe’s new coffee blends this season have been created while keeping sustainability at the core, with the majority of the beans being India. The proprietary Greenr Arabica blend uses 75% Indian Arabica, 15% Ethiopian Arabica and 10% Colombian Arabica — with the flavour notes of Grapefruit and Blueberry. 

greenr cafe
Reusing fruit scraps by mixing them with water, sliced tangerines, fresh herbs, ready-to-go in a glass dispenser

The menu prioritises indigenous ingredients, even for certain global recipes. An acai berry bowl, for instance, also features jaggery and amaranth muesli; the hot-seller Baja Blackbean bowl uses homegrown Kodo millet. The cafe has also introduced compostable take-aways and community-driven workshops like plant parenting workshops, vegan and gluten-free pop-ups and even birdhouse pop-ups.