Deep Green Champion Spotlight on Cafe Lotus

Deep Green Champion Spotlight on Cafe Lotus

This April we’re excited to highlight MCE Deep Green Champion, Cafe Lotus in Fairfax. Cafe Lotus features authentic, organic, and sustainable North Indian cuisine, and has been Best of Marin since 1999 and profiled in Zagat. Cafe Lotus is leading the way in sustainable dining and is a Bay Area Green Business, member of Marin Organic, Sustainable Fairfax, Marin Green Drinks, and Marin Sanitary Service. 

Cafe Lotus is part of the Lotus Family of Restaurants owned and operated by Surinder and Linda Sroa. Surinder and Linda are committed to operating sustainably an reducing waste across all locations. They recently installed rooftop solar at their San Rafael locations, Lotus Cuisine of India and Lotus Market, both of which are also Deep Green Champions operating on 100% renewable energy. At Cafe Lotus, Surinder and Linda have implemented on-site practices to increase energy efficiency and lower their carbon footprint. Read on to learn how Cafe Lotus is plating up culinary inspiration and leading the way in sustainable dining.

“We enjoy preparing our home-style Northern Indian cuisine and shop mostly locally at farmer’s markets,” says Surinder about the menu’s ingredients.

Using natural meats, organic and local biodynamic wine, local produce, and dairy from non-GMO Clover Dairy farms, Cafe Lotus offers an array of vegan and vegetarian options.

“We’ve wanted to bring in the best quality ingredients for our dishes, and we’re fortunate because there’s no shortage of bounty in the Bay Area,” said Linda.

 

Surinder and his team also introduced a more sustainable way to offer takeout with reusable tiffins (stackable stainless steel tins) that can be filled with a choice of dishes and then returned to the restaurant.

“We really wanted to reduce packaging waste, and this was a very clean and green alternative,” said Linda.


In addition to creating a sustainable kitchen, Linda and Surinder are proactive and conscientious about recycling and food waste. By using biodegradable to-go containers and partnering with local food waste programs in Marin, their leftover materials are converted into biogas through anaerobic digestion. Cafe Lotus can reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills through these green waste and food scrap diversion programs.

“I’ve always believed in the indigenous philosophy of living for seven generations as one of my guiding inspirations,” said Linda. “Being more earth friendly is really all we have.”


As enthusiastic and committed environmentalists, Surinder and Linda were thrilled to learn about MCE and the Deep Green Champion program. Surinder says guests are excited to hear about their sustainable initiatives.

“We are firm believers in taking care of your block and your city. MCE is truly local and renewable, so it was the obvious choice to join them immediately. We believe in taking the green path,” said Surinder.

 

With a focus on green practices and ongoing recycling education, Surinder ensures that his staff is well trained to reduce waste in his restaurants. Switching their energy supply to MCE’s renewable energy service inspired Surinder to make his kitchens more energy efficient and further reduce their environmental impact. Efforts include using Energy Star appliances, which help commercial kitchens save energy by cutting utility and maintenance costs without sacrificing quality. By saving energy, Cafe Lotus can save money on utility bills and protect the climate by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Since making all these changes, Cafe Lotus has saved over 24,256 pounds of CO2 emissions, which equivalent to planting 191 trees.

In the future, Cafe Lotus plans to work on more eco-friendly modifications to their restaurants, such as installing solar panels and expanding their local farmer network.

Next time you’re in Fairfax or San Rafael, check out the Lotus Family of Restaurants and try the Chicken tikka masala, samosas, or the saag paneer ⎯ all are Sroa family favorites.

View and order from the Cafe Lotus menu at cafelotus.com or follow them on Instagram at @cafe_lotus_fairfax.

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