Atlasta Catering just became a Certified Sustainable Business at the Innovator/Silver level

atlasta-foodCatering your Big Day doesn’t need to harm the planet. Steve and Kristine Short created Atlasta Catering to offer great food with a light footprint: minimal waste, renewable energy and lots of vegan options that even your carnivore guests will like. Atlasta recently catered a wedding at Tlaquepaque (also a Certified Sustainable Business). The couple specifically requested Atlasta because they wanted a sustainable event.

Atlasta’s Phoenix-based catering business embraces an array of sustainable practices. The kitchen is powered by 100% renewable energy through APS Green Choice. A high-temperature dishwasher eliminates the need for chemical sanitizer. Customers are offered incentives to select wider delivery windows, which allows more efficient truck loading and routing.

Careful management of waste is critical in a food-related business. Team members are taught that there is no “away”; waste always goes somewhere. All items are evaluated for reuse before recycling. They reuse pallets, repurpose metal cans for décor, send wine bottles to Refresh Glass, and donate chairs and furniture that can’t be rented to churches and other organizations. Unused food is donated to Waste Not food recovery.

A recycling separation station in the kitchen helps ensure that material is high quality and uncontaminated for processing. Rinse water from the dish area is reused to clean items during recycling separation.

The menu reflects “stealth ethics” to help customers make healthier choices. You won’t miss butter in their vegan cookies, and while they offer meat options, portion sizes are small. All fish on the menu is recommended by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list.

Hiring great team members is central to Atlasta’s success. Rather than leaving staff dependent on tips, the owners designed the compensation system to offer salaries that are above market. They look for hardworking people who truly care about customers, going the extra mile.

Atlasta is an approved caterer at Tlaquepaque, so if you have an event there, consider using them. And next time you’re in Phoenix, enjoy their hospitality at University Club on ASU’s Tempe campus.

Darcy Hitchcock, Sustainability Alliance, 928.554.5171