Mylo Coffee Company is committed to supporting and promoting the local economy and ensuring that all of our ingredients are sourced from producers who share our mindset. To that end, we use as much local and seasonal produce, meat, and other raw ingredients as possible. What we cannot source locally, we either avoid, or find a producer who can provide it to us with the smallest carbon footprint and in the most equitable manner. For instance, we purchase our meats from the Grassroots Farmers’ Cooperative, and our eggs from Gum Thicket Farms--none of whom use antibiotics or hormones and all of whom engage in principled animal welfare practices. Our produce comes from Little Rock Urban Farming, Barnhill Orchards, Arkansas Natural Produce, and Jerry Hamilton Farms among other smaller or individual growers--who foster sustainability through organic growing methods and fair labor practices. Our organic, unbleached flour comes from War Eagle Mill.
These are all producers within very short distances of our store, therefore decreasing our carbon footprint. Sourcing through these farms and other smaller or individual growers not only makes our food taste better, but also fosters creativity in our menu and affords us the opportunity to educate our community on equitable food sourcing. While we would love to offer fruit with our housemade granola all year, we understand seasonality and if there is no local fruit pairing available in the middle of winter, for example, we must explain to our customers why. It feels good to have these sorts of opportunities to share our philosophy with them. This understanding of seasonality and availability is the foundation of our entire business model.
We are very intentional about how we use our local producers in planning for the future. At the end of the summer of 2017 we created a salad which featured pickled okra. It was a hit, so knowing that we would not be able to get okra again until this next summer, we purchased it in bulk. Pickling ensured we could continue to serve this fun salad through the winter, and the bulk order provided income to the farmer and prevented waste. This is a simple example, but it illustrates our mindset and the way we order our thinking about the food we serve. Although we work hard to source locally and seasonally, there are ingredients we cannot obtain here in Arkansas. We source our organic, unbleached sugar from Global Organics, a company that promotes sustainability through and through. Although this organic cane sugar is more expensive than its alternatives and provides challenges to our bakers and chefs in its inconsistencies, it is better for the consumer and for the environment.
We work to make environmentally friendly choices at every turn and waste as little as possible. We use Simple Green cleaning products which are concentrated so as to avoid waste and free of harsh chemicals that might be harmful to our Earth or other people. We installed several bike racks to encourage environmentally friendly commuting. We gift our burlap coffee bags to Pat at Sun Harvest Honey so that he has something to provide a clean smoke to prevent stings as he’s harvesting the honey we buy from him. The bottled water we sell is from Mountain Valley and beers from local breweries, thus further supporting the local economy and reducing the carbon footprint. Any food not sold at the end of a day becomes a staff snack or meal the next. Leftover focaccia bread becomes croutons.
From the front-of-house to the kitchen, our whole staff understands that there is a fine balance to be stricken between running out of food and wasting it. We want to do neither, so we take great pains to plan well and analyze just how much of every ingredient we need at any given time. This mindset also influences how we deal with the little waste we unavoidably produce. We have, on several occasions, provided compost to local individuals and organizations for starting or sustaining their own gardens. We recycle as much as possible and use paper and plastics that are made with recycled materials and/or are recyclable.