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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


Sweet (Green) Tomatoes Restaurant Practices Sustainability

Jun 01, 2012 01:07PM

The Dallas area now can boast of three Sweet Tomatoes restaurants with the opening of their new location on Greenville Avenue, in the Old Towne Shopping Center, in addition to those in Irving and Addison.

Garden Fresh Restaurant Corporation, the parent company of both Sweet Tomatoes and Souplantation, worked for two years to receive certification from the Green Restaurant Association, a nonprofit organization that promotes sustainability in the restaurant industry, and was the nation's first large-scale restaurant chain to do so.

Garden Fresh has adopted sustainability measures such as high-efficiency spray valves, energy-efficient lighting, Green Seal certified cleaning products and recyclable glass, paper, aluminum and cardboard packaging. Every year, Garden Fresh estimates it will save 2.1 million pounds of waste paper, 7.5 million gallons of water, 4.4 million kilowatts of energy and 3,194 cubic yards of landfill space because of these current changes.

The company is Styrofoam-free, and guests at Souplantation/Sweet Tomatoes restaurants use non-disposable dishes and cutlery, diverting waste from landfills and incinerators. As part of their certification requirement, Garden Fresh provides sustainability educational training to its employees.

The restaurants implemented environmental upgrades across the nation in the areas of energy sustainable, food water efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, disposables, chemicals and pollution reduction, sustainable furnishings and building materials.

"We have always sought innovative ways to be thoughtful about our impact on the environment. I believe that attitude is consistent with our product, the wishes of our guests and ourSweet Tomatoes Restaurant brand," says Garden Fresh CEO Michael Mack. "The Green Restaurant Association provides us with a wonderful opportunity to further our efforts and we strongly value their hard work in transitioning the restaurant industry into a more environmentally responsible industry. Not only do we serve greens on our salad bars, but also all of our locations are now officially 'green' restaurants. We hope to set a standard among other national and large-chain restaurants to encourage them to follow suit."

Sweet Tomatoes creates an all-you-can-eat dining experience with a daily selection of made-from-scratch soups and salads, handcrafted muffins, focaccia, breads and tasty desserts. By combining high-quality, farm-fresh and scratch-made foods for a fixed price, the restaurants provide guests with the freedom to create their own wholesome meals. The restaurant concept is built around fresh prepared, great-tasting recipes, with a salad bar full of seasonal vegetables and tossed salads prepared every 20 minutes.

For locations and more information, visit

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