Green Sage Cafe Customers vote Green Sage Cafe:

  • First Place Sustainability-Promoting Business, Work & Business/ WNC Best of 2014
  • First Place Green/Sustainability-Friendly Restaurant, Eats/ WNC Best of 2014

“We would like to thank our customers and the people of Asheville for giving us this honor. Green Sage Cafe has three locations and has progressively improved it’s effort in each one.  Green Sage Cafe has been a leader in creating a community of sustainability minded restaurant owners and to expand the awareness of green and sustainable practices to the entire community. This award is recognition for those efforts. We would like to take this opportunity to also thank our staff, our vendors and producers whose hard work makes promoting sustainability fun and fulling.”   Randy Talley

Green Sage Cafe Westgate the newest addition to the Green Sage Cafe family takes sustainability to new heights.  Five emerald green photovoltaic solar panels act as an awning above the door. These beautiful and useful panels produce enough energy to offset the lighting in the restaurant.  All of the lighting is LED and highly energy efficient, including porcelain pendants by local artist Ross Edwards of Spruce Pine.

As a brand, Green Sage Cafe has comfortably stepped into the forefront of the green and sustainable movement  recent years by sourcing reusable materials, installing energy-efficient equipment, and incorporating recycling and composting program.  At first glance the Westgate Location looks like a beautiful restaurant. But there is more to the story. The renovation was thoughtful and purposeful with each decision leading to solutions that would have lasting positive effects.

We removed everything, including sagging ceilings, incandescent lighting, fiberglass insulation, thirty year old energy wasting restaurant equipment, rusty shelves, energy gobbling HVAC system, leaking roof, single pane windows,  two bathrooms  with water wasting fixtures. We donated, recycle and re-purposed  wherever possible.” says Talley.

Keeping the BTU’s out is the crux of the strategy.  A BTU is:

The British thermal unit (BTU or Btu) is a traditional unit of energy equal to about 1055 joules. It is the amount of energy needed to cool or heat one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. In science, the joule, the SI unit of energy, has largely replaced the BTU.  

Basically, a BTU is a measure of heat. Everything gives off heat. It takes energy to manage heat because there are a variety of heat controlled systems in a restaurant. The stove has to be hot and the refrigeration cold. Green Sage Cafe added ten  refrigerated devices, seven of them sharing one compressor, reclaim the heat all the refrigerators and freezers to pre-heat hot water, saving the energy to heat the water from cold.

Green Sage Cafe installed a refrigerated rack system mounted on the roof with one solitary compressor running seven refrigerated devices power by a modulating digital scroll compressor with only three moving parts. This system has  the capacity to run one device or all devices and in all likelihood will never turn off, like the human heart. This piece of equipment could last a lifetime saving on repair and maintenance of individual compressors. The goal of this system is to reduce refrigeration energy by one third and reduce maintenance costs by half.

Green Sage Cafe also installed a  “Smarthood” with the ability to turn itself on and off as needed. The fan speeds up and slows down as needed thereby reducing the amount of conditioned air throughout the hood system.They  added a ventless dishwasher that reclaims the heat from steam from each wash to make hot water for the next wash.  The ventless dishwasher does not require a separate hood system saving the loss of conditioned air throughout the hood.  The dishwashers uses about 9/10ths of a gallon per rack or about a third less water than a standard dish machine. The CMA 180 VL saves energy and water and air conditioned air.  

Sustainability is no longer a trend: It’s a pillar of contemporary design and an expectation of today’s consumers and businesses. For Green Sage Cafe installing energy efficient equipment  and opting for environmentally preferable cleaners is second nature. That’s because as fast casual industry surfs the green wave of sustainability, they’re finding that the term eco-friendly fits right in with their brand message. The Green Sage Cafe customer expects healthy food, expects sustainable practices, and cares deeply about the community and the planet.  Sharing the values of the customers so it is easy to serve them.