Buying from Local Growers and Businesses
Dining Services believes in supporting the local community and sustainable business practices as is demonstrated by the following partners list. While this list in not all-inclusive, it does provide a background of Dining Services' commitment to our local businesses and growers. We pride ourselves on our efforts to support our community and will continue to expand our efforts whenever possible.
Dining Services purchases the majority of their produce through the San Francisco company Fresh Point. Fresh Point focuses on sustainability through their waste management program, use of hybrid vehicles, and by using recycled water for their fleet washings. They are also currently being reviewed the by Green Knights group, who helps their clients “green” their business by focusing on sustainable energy use and business practices.
We also support the Santa Rosa Junior College’s Agriculture and Natural Resources programs by purchasing products from Shone Farm. Their 365 acres of land provides an opportunity for students to experience real-life, hands-on training relevant to their career choice. We also offer their CSA program to our campus community in the fall semesters.
Lastly, Dining Services has a long standing business relationship with Walker Ranch Apples, which is a small apple farm in the Graton area that has been around since Lee Walker’s grandfather planted the original Gravenstein apples in his orchard in 1912.
Most of dairy products carried by Dining Services are purchased through CloverStornetta, whose main offices are located just a few minutes south of us in Petaluma. Clover Stornetta Farms is a dairy processor who specializes in both organic and conventional dairy products. They pride themselves on their commitment to sustainable agriculture, no added rBST in any of their products, their Free Farmed certification by the American Humane Association, and their guarantee that they know where 100% of their milk comes from every day. Many of the cheese products we use are also co-packed with Clover Stornetta using their milk.
In the area of breads and pastries, Dining Services purchases their donuts from Jelly Donuts in Rohnert Park. We also utilize Sonoma’s Artisan Bakery for part of their pastry line. Artisan Bakery opened its doors in July 1992 and every item they produce is baked from scratch daily, using local products whenever possible.
Dining Services also makes bread purchases from Full Circle Baking Company, located just down the road in Penngrove. They can be found selling their products at the local Santa Rosa Farmer's Market on Wednesdays and Saturdays, as well as at Oliver’s Market in Cotati.
Dining Services carries a large variety of locally crafted beverages. Charlie Brown's Café offers products from Petaluma Coffee & Tea Company for our loose leaf tea program, and our popular Guayaki beverages come to us from the company headquarters in Sebastopol. They are a Fair Trade Certified yerba mate supplier who focuses on sustainable practices in all aspects of their business.
We also feature beers from two local micro-breweries: Moonlight Brewing which produces Death and Taxes, and Lagunitas which produces many popular seasonal beers like the Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale and Brown Shugga.
Dining Services uses United Natural Foods as a source of vegetarian, organic, sustainable, gluten free, and natural products. These include products from Northern California such as Golden Pacific Island Foods from Healdsburg, Amy's Products from Santa Rosa, Fall River Wild Rice from Fall River Mills, Pamela's Gluten-Free Products from Ukiah, Lundsberg products from Richvale, Annie Chun’s products from San Rafael, PJ's Burritos from South San Francisco, and Cliff Bars from Berkeley.
The majority of Dining Service operations utilize trans-fat free California Rice Oils out of Novato for their fryers. In addition, the fryer oils are transported to Yokayo Biofuels in Ukiah to be repurposed into biodiesel fuel. Once the used oil has been converted into fuel, it makes its way back to many Sonoma County businesses such as Laguna Farms in Sebastopol.
Should you have any questions about what we do to support our community, please feel free to email us at email@example.com.
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Sustainability in the Dining Room
A few of the ways we support sustainable practices in the Dining Room is by using environmentally sustainable cleaning products, recycling used fryer oil and turning it into Biofuel, and adopting trayless dining.
Environmentally sustainable cleaning products
Dining Services purchases their cleaning products from Value Products Inc., whose products are made with plant derived, non-petroleum based compounds and other earth friendly ingredients. They are DfE (Design for the Environment) certified through the EPA, and are active members of CleanGredients, a nonprofit that equips business with the science and resources to make products more sustainable.
Food trays need to be washed after each use and have been found to increase food waste. By “going trayless”, we are reducing our food and water waste, conserving energy, and encouraging healthier eating habits. Studies show that when trays are offered, more food is collected, most of which ends up in the garbage. An ARAMARK study of 186,000 meals at 25 colleges and universities found a 25 percent to 30 percent reduction in food waste per person on trayless days.
Dining Services has partnered with Yokayo Biofuels in Ukiah to recycle our used fryer oil. Yokayo picks up the used oil and converts it into biodiesel that is then sold to their customers. This ultimately decreases the amount of oil that is being disposed from the Dining Room, while producing what is currently the most sustainable, “carbon neutral” biodiesel available.
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A new composting program debuted in Sonoma State University's Zinfandel Dining Room in the spring 2012 semester as part of the campus' commitment to adopting sustainable practices, and at the urging of the governing student group, Associated Students (AS).
All pre- and post-consumer compostable items are sorted at the Dining Room, then transported by North Bay Recycling to the Carneros Ranch in Petaluma. In turn, an estimated 40 tons of material is expected to be salvaged each semester.
The program utilizes nature's process of recycling organic materials – including paper, egg shells and yard trimmings – into a rich soil known as compost.
Composting services are expected to expand to all on-campus dining venues following a review of the initial campaign. A similar pilot program is being developed in the Residential Community to allow students living on-campus to participate in this sustainability effort.