©220 by Zero-Waste Providence. 

TALLULAH’S TAQUERIA

Fresh, authentic, quick, and delicious

 

Tallulah’s Taqueria opened as a cozy little place based on a genuine cuisine from the life experiences of Chef Jacob Rojas. He and his wife Kelly Ann (Tallulah) care a lot about how their food is made, the small eatery crafts fresh authentic Mexican food from scratch. Their perfectly prepared heaping piles of nachos contain layers of tasty grated cheese while a customer’s choice of protein in tacos includes a carnita’s slow cooked roasted pork. Jacob explains that, essentially, good flavorful food and sustainability

are intrinsically related, his keen understanding and appreciation of this concept is what drives Tallulah’s success and makes it a genuine source of inspiration for other restaurants and restauranteurs into embracing sustainable practices.

 

Why did you decide to compost?

Healthy soils provide the nutrients necessary to grow flavorful food. It is very important for us to put back those nutrients into the earth and not exploit this valuable resource. We need to care for the future of our planet

while eating sustainably.

What are some of the challenges with composting at your restaurant?

We deliberately planned our restaurant with focus on using fresh ingredients, which is different than if everything was frozen or packaged. The operations separate scraps and organic waste which also effects the space planning.

We had to figure out how customers would compost their own scraps, a labeled set up in the front of the house makes it possible. Everyone in our restaurant possesses

a strong belief in composting as well as providing fresh food, so every employee has been excited to participate

in the process.

What are some of the rewards?

The rewards are many. First, everyone loves great tasting food with fresh ingredients. Our customer base continues to grow, more and more, they value our commitment to sustainability. We get publicity through word of mouth

and have built permanent customer bases because everyone knows the source of our food and our concern

for how it is grown.

How has it affected your bottom line?

We had a large dumpster that filled quickly. However, setting up our composting bin with the Compost Plant helped us reduce the frequency of dumpster pick-ups, saving hauler costs. The money spent on the compost hauler was quickly covered by the money saved in dumpster fees.

How do you train your employees to deal with the compostable waste?

We set up a very simple system in the back of the house. Strategically placed compost buckets makes it easy for staff to adjust their every-day routines in dividing what should go to the landfill and what should be composted.

It did not take much time or effort.

What other things do you do in your restaurant to meet your

sustainability goals?

We firmly believe sustainable food systems include reducing and eliminating plastics, conserving water,

trying to reusable as much as possible and recycling

when possible.

What are some of your wishes?

We welcome new opportunities in our daily routines to make composting a key part of our kitchen’s normal routine. We wish other restaurants would realize the benefits of implementing sustainable practices and composting. In the long run we all benefit from taking care of the earth. Hopefully, by setting an example, others will realize that simple actions and practical steps forward can make a difference. 

Tallulah’s Taqueria | Photo via PVD City Council twitter

Photo from Providence Journal | Photo credit: Mike Braca

Photo from Tallulah’s Facebook

Shrimp taco | photo from instagram @hunnybajjer

Waste disposal area inside the restaurant | photo credit: Brigida Capicotto