The desire to become more environmentally friendly spurred Rocky and Jeeva, the owners of Rockys Restaurant and Café, in Mt Albert to sign up for the Albert Eden Sustainable Business Programme led by Green Business HQ.   

“We really want to be environmentally friendly and to do something to give back to the community” says Rocky “We don’t want to be just another business destroying the environment”.

Since joining the programme plastic straws have been banished, with customers now able to request compostable paper straws as an alternative. Meaning 400 less plastic straws will enter the landfill each year. Customers popping in for a takeaway coffee are encouraged to bring their own cup or to pop the compostable takeaway coffee cups on offer into any commercial compost collection service. Many garden waste collection services will take these.  With customers support these changes will help prevent more than 1,300 disposable coffee cups from ending up in landfill each year.

Over summer Rocky built compost bins in new garden areas at the back of the café using reclaimed wood. The café now composts about 12 litres of vege peelings, serviettes, coffee filters and food scraps a week, which will add up to over 624 litres of waste diverted from landfill each year. New planters outfront have also created some beauty and bee habitat in an area previously dominated by asphalt.

Rocky cooks from the heart and says he likes to let his food do the talking. Rockys operates as a café serving homemade baking and coffee during the day and as a restaurant in the evenings serving Italian inspired meals. Passionate about making Italian inspired food as healthy as possible Rocky had already started turning a concrete area out the back of the café into a herb and vegetable garden when he joined the programme.

With lots of planting over summer tomatoes and herbs are now in full production providing fresh food and flavour with zero food miles, and a low carbon footprint, for local diners. With plenty of compost on tap to keep production booming throughout the year. Next on the sustainability agenda for Rocky is building a worm farm and working with Auckland Transport to get some cycle racks installed outside.

Sustainability Highlights

  • 672 litres of vege scraps, food waste, tissues and coffee filters diverted from landfill for composting each year
  • 400 less plastic straws to landfill each year
  • 1,300 less coffee cups to landfill each year
  • More locally grown tomatoes and herbs served with zero food miles

The Albert Eden Sustainable Business Programme is sponsored by Albert-Eden Local Board and delivered by Green Business HQ.

Find Rockys at www.facebook.com/rockysrestaurantandcafe