Sustainable supply



Location: New York, USA

Sector: Sales and services

A sustainable New York restaurant seeking to achieve « Zero Waste ».


After graduating from Dauphine and then Sciences Po, Chloé Vichot arrived in New York in 2005 where she worked in finance for 10 years. Her dream of opening a restaurant never left her mind and during a trip to Europe in 2015, her idea was built: several restaurants used glass jars rather than plastic containers.
the restaurant or rather this “epicurean canteen” officially opened its doors in November 2016, offering various salads, soups (in winter), desserts and breakfasts; all in reusable glass jars and under deposit.

  • Deposit of $1 per jar (production price per unit) ;
  • 30% of the jars were returned in 2017 ;
  • Dishes for sale between $5 and $15 ;
  • Team of 8 people.
  • Sustainable supply
  • Responsible consumption
  • Recycling

project operation

Each glass jar, containing dishes or desserts, is sold with a one dollar deposit, which is given back to customers when it is returned to the restaurant. Ancolie offers compostable coffee cups with messages encouraging customers to bring their own cups for a $0.50 discount. Finally, all products are in season, with local sourcing tending towards “zero waste”.
In addition to minimising the production of waste from procurement to the sale of finished products, the company also recycles some of its bio-waste:

  • apples are used to make applesauce and the skin is turned into chips ;
  • chicken bones are used to make broth.

These small actions make it possible to offset the cost of composting their waste. They have two types of compost : 

  • industrial compost, containing napkins, recyclable cutlery, coffee cups and lids;
  • and organic compost (peelings, etc.) which is then used in a shared garden in the East Village to ensure the growth of the fruits and vegetables.

They pay $160 and $120 per month respectively for a service performed by the company Common Ground Compost, which collects the compost by bike and transforms them into finished compost.
Ancolie currently uses 6 different bins to sort its waste as well as possible. These small, residential-sized bins are picked up three times a week. The distribution of the restaurant’s waste (Figure 1) illustrates that it is moving towards “Zero Waste”, i.e. no non-recyclable waste (study carried out by Common Ground Compost).

Figure 1. Distribution of Ancolie’s waste over the period from March to September 2017

If there are any extra meals, they distribute them to the local music studio or gym.

  • For these sustainable practices, Ancolie is part of the “Green Restaurant” Association, which since 2016 has awarded it the highest level of certification. A brief overview of the different categories taken into account in the rating (Figure 2) as well as some of the initiatives implemented in the restaurant:

  • Energy : motion detector in the toilets ;
  • Food : serve vegan or vegetarian dishes ;
  • Water : pedal water tap and use of a nozzle on the tap to reduce water consumption;
  • Waste : compost from bio-waste used in city gardens ;
  • Disposable equipments : cutlery made from vegetable starch, use of reusable glass jars ;
  • Chemical products : use of natural paints (no VOC) ;
  • Construction : all furniture is second-hand.

Figure 2. Points awarded to Ancolie by the Green Restaurant Association.

For more information, you can go to the web page of the association :

sustainable approach

  • Minimisation of waste produced, limiting CO2 emissions linked to combustion: Avoidance of 1/2 ton of plastic and the release of 1 ton of CO2 thanks to glass jars ; 
  • Lengthening of the lifespan of certain materials (furniture), which also limits CO2 emissions ;
  • Saving water and electricity and use of wind energy reducing the release of CO2 by 13.4 tons* ;
  • Reduction in the use of chemicals that preserve soil and watercourses ;
  • Offsetting their carbon footprint (transportation of goods and employee travel) by a donation to finance 8 kitchen stoves, helping several families in Uganda who would otherwise use wood fire, leading to deforestation.*


*Carbon balance carried out by co2logic.

  • 2/3 of the turnover is generated by sales in restaurants and the other third by catering services for outdoor events ;
  • Sale of high value-added dishes: well-informed consumers are prepared to pay more to eat better quality products with a low environmental impact ;
  • The company is not yet profitable due to its recent opening. 


The restaurant reduces its costs through different strategies

  • Minimising the purchase of packaged products and reusing packaging ;
  • Ordering and making recipes in small quantities to control production and avoid surpluses;
  • Maximising the value of each ingredient ;
  • Saving on waste collection by reducing the amount of waste produced, the cost depending on the number of collections and the type of bin;
  • Using efficient installations to save water and electricity.
  • Raising awareness of customers and professionals in partnership with the restaurant by encouraging producers to embark on “Zero Waste” (e.g. food products with as little plastic packaging as possible).

limits & future perspectives

Some facilities and strategies represented an additional cost :

  • Glass jars compared to plastic containers and cutlery ;
  • 30% of these jars were returned to the restaurant in 2017. With customer loyalty, this number is expected to increase: the first ones are kept, then the next ones are brought back ;
  • The developments carried out in order to obtain the required “Green Restaurant” certification..


Other limits :

  • Lack of knowledge among customers and employees about waste sorting, which requires continuous learning ;
  • Very little glass recycling in the United States: glass is either reduced to sand and used in construction, or is sent to Canada for recycling (significant carbon footprint) ;
  • Difficulty finding local, quality, seasonal products with minimal packaging. The restaurant had to make concessions regarding certain products such as the baguette, produced in France but of better quality..

Chloe would like to be able to offer a different hot dish every day and to be able to change the dishes more often. In July 2018, glass jar dispensers will be launched! The prices will remain the same and there will also be a deposit system.

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