Love-Lee Cooking brings a lot more to the table than just great food.
The Atherton-based catering service and cafe lives up to their strong business ethos of being socially and ecologically responsible through sustainable, community-based processes.
“We’ve made a business stance on what’s good for us, our environment and our community,’ said Lee Norman, of Love-Lee. “Our food is sourced from local farmers, producers and suppliers.”
As a part of the Responsible Cafes Program, Love-Lee undertakes a lot of initiatives to reduce, reuse and recycle.
When in season and plentiful, produce is turned into pasta sauces, jams and chutney’s, to be sold and used within the café.
Coffee grinds and egg shells are collected weekly by one of the local biodynamic farmers – who also supplies the cafe with great produce. Lee’s teenage son is researching how to start up a worm farm using them as well to supplement the café’s herb garden.
Any leftover food is packaged up and given to local community groups and kitchen scraps are given to Lee’s chooks and ducks.
Any packaging is saved and reused to fill website orders and we work with our business neighbours to utilise their wastage as well.
The cafe encourages patrons to bring their own takeaway cups and containers by incentivising them with discounts on meals and drinks. If you forget, Lee provides compostable options that are sugar cane pulp-based.
They have a strict ‘No Straw’ policy, opting for bamboo straws and using washable cutlery for in house use and wooden cutlery for take away. To educate both her patrons and her staff about single use plastic, Lee uses wooden straw stirrers and real salt and pepper grinders instead of sachets and doesn’t sell bottled water – instead cold filtered water and reusable cups are supplied free and the café is registered as a water refilling station.
Love-Lee Cooking is always actively seeking different ways to reuse waste – from collecting coffee bags for Junkweavers, bottle tops for a local kindy, to shredding waste paper for the neighbouring pet store. It is this ethos that underpins the business, is well supported by staff and is what drives the continued investigation and creative thinking to reduce waste where ever possible.
Lee’s biggest tip for those wanting to reduce their footprint: “Don’t try to change the world all at once, she said, “Think of one thing you can do, master it, and then move onto the next and share your story.”
“That’s what this cafe does, we do it and talk about it constantly. People might question why we use timber cutlery or why we don’t use straws. This starts conversation and gets people questioning and thinking,” she said. “It’s these conversations that spark thought and change.”
Drop by Love–Lee Wholefoods Cafe, 70 Main Street Atherton, and be part of the movement. https://www.loveleecooking.com.au/