“We’ve bought a van” – Angel Harper (co-owner of Mocha Cabana)
The food and waste reduction decisions that the restaurant Mocha Cabana makes have allowed them to emerge as a Lethbridge leader in not only waste reduction but in the way we think about food.
Angel Harper, a co-owner of Mocha Cabana explains how they are doing more take-out than ever with the growing popularity of online ordering – what you may recognize as SkipTheDishes. To mitigate the increased need for disposable boxes and utensils, Mocha Cabana has replaced all of their single-use plastic items with compostable alternatives. From the takeout boxes to forks and knives, Mocha Cabana has eliminated their need for single-use plastics. This decision has the support of their customers, Angel says, as local Lethbridge folks seem to be happy to have more sustainable alternatives to Styrofoam and single-use plastics.
Mocha Cabana also recycles their cooking oil, spends the time to do energy-efficient renovations to their building (such as their well-insulated skylights), hosts apprentices from the culinary program from Lethbridge College, and has plans to set up an organic composting system. But perhaps what Mocha Cabana is most well-known for is their dedication to sourcing good, local food.
Angel and Jaqueline, the owners of Mocha Cabana, both have backgrounds in and around farms. Angel says, “There’s something about knowing where your food comes from; that’s the magic.” This message seems to resonate with Lethbridge customers; people care about were their food comes from.
In fact, Mocha Cabana is in the beta test phase of their newest project: Mocha Local.
This will be the first online farmers market and a meal kit delivery system in Lethbridge, as well as in Alberta. The basic idea is that local products from nearby farmers will be delivered to your door, with a delivery a week. Meal kits will be included where you are able to pick a meal designed by the talented staff at Mocha Cabana and all the ingredients will arrive at your door, ready for assembly. Angel explains how this will hopefully allow Lethbridge area farmers to grow more products and provide a better way for customers to connect with Lethbridge farmers and local food.
Mocha Local’s delivery van will use ‘green-routing’ (using technology to find the most efficient route through the city), and they will provide products with the least possible amount of packing (imagine loose onions in the back of the van). They hope that Mocha Local will be fully up and running by May.
The folks at Mocha Cabana have high respect for the food that they work with. Mocha Local will soon make it easier than ever to engage with our local Lethbridge food, and all its benefits.
Written by Samuel Gerrand.