A visit to eco-activist Joost Bakker's Melbourne cafe, Silo, provided Jonny McKessar with the inspiration for his new K Rd cafe, Scullery.
"Silo is zero waste and I was determined to set up a cafe that achieved the same result but it's proving more difficult than I imagined," he says.
Having opened Scratch Bakers in the City Works Depot last month, this is the second joint venture for Jonny (who also owns Three Beans roastery) and Steve and Sarah Vanderput (from Teed St Larder and Wai on Waiheke Island).
"With Scullery, we wanted to bring the same high-quality cafe experience but we wanted to really minimise the environmental impact of it by recycling and composting everything we could. Currently, we're down to one bag of waste a week, but I want that to be one per month," says Jonny.
All that can be recycled and composted is, and the coffee grounds are available if you want them for your garden. Even so, Jonny is still amazed that getting to zero has proved to be such a mission.
"I didn't realise it would be so difficult. We compost all our paper bags and coffee cups but they come from our suppliers in plastic wrapping. One area that we can control is the packaging for the coffee beans and for that we use and re-use these lovely big coffee tins."
The Scullery menu is exquisite and includes such gems as toasted banana and coconut bread with mascarpone, spiced mince on toast and, of course, some of the fantastic pies from Scratch Bakers, such as rabbit, white wine and leek.
• Scullery Cafe, 166 K Rd, ph (09) 365 2897. Open seven days, 7.30am-5pm, with plans to open soon in the evenings.