Ever since our doors opened in 2004, Marion Street Cheese Market has been strongly focused on sustainability and local food issues. We have always been an American artisan-centric cheese shop with a mission of supporting small, local independent cheesemakers, family farmers, and food artisans. When deciding on what cheeses to offer, we have always felt that the closer to Oak Park the better, while still looking to offer artisan cheese from domestic cheesemakers who were farmstead in operation and practiced sustainable farming and cheesemaking practices, wherever they may be – around the United States or around the globe. With the build-out and opening of our expanded Market (July 2008) to include a Bistro and Bar, we continued our green focus, not only with all of the food products and beverages we source and provide, but throughout our construction, furnishings, and daily operations. Take a look at our “Sustainability Spotlight,” just below.
- Our produce comes from Green City Market and Oak Park Farmer’s Market.
- We prioritize purchasing for local and fair trade goods
- We serve environmentally friendly Natura water
- We recycle glass, cardboard, plastic and use compostable containers and cups
- We compost all food waste with Chicago Resource Center
- We have Energy Star rated appliances, walk-in coolers, and halogen lighting fixtures
- Our flooring is porcelain tile with a potential lifetime of twenty years
- Our bars and countertops are made with recycled glass
- Our chairs are crafted with manufacturers’ seatbelt remnants
- Used wine corks, with the help of Oak Park’s Green Home Experts, are reincarnated for a second life in the soles of shoes.
- We are working to become a Zero Waste Kitchen with the non-profit group Seven Generations Ahead whose mission it is to promote ecologically sustainable and healthy communities
- Our restrooms have paperless, hand drying appliances
- In cold months, we recycle heat output from refrigeration compressors to heat the Opera Club building
In this business, being green is not always an easy thing to achieve, but we are committed to it and we will continue to work toward higher green “plateaus.” It’s about living your values and doing the right thing, even if it takes a little more work. So, while it feels great to be able to say that while we have been “green” from the very beginning, we can now actually say that we are certifiably green! We have been independently audited and accredited as officially “Green” by the Green Restaurant Association. To learn more about the GRA and to see which other Chicago restaurants have been accredited as “Green,” please visit their website at: www.dinegreen.com Click here to view our GRA report card.