Snooze, Not your average Restaurant!

I came across Snooze about six months ago. I was heading to Whole foods at the South Glenn Mall in Denver Colorado.  I remember a friend telling me about Snooze on Facebook, he said “Bob they have great breakfast there, you will have to go there, when you come to Colorado. So there I was standing in front of Snooze, I don’t remember what time it was, maybe late morning. I wasn’t hungry at the time so I just walked by, I could see a long  line outside. I was thinking to myself, this must be a great place to eat, I was intrigued. A month later I was hungry, and again standing in front of snooze ( a modern looking Diner).

I walked into Snooze and I was greeted promptly, I asked if they had a table, the Gentleman said ” It should be fifteen minutes before a table is ready.”  I looked around and I could see one chair at the bar open, ” can I get a stool at the Bar? He said sure. I walked over to set down, and the gentleman behind the bar said, “can I help you, Would you like something to drink, here’s a menu”.  I ordered some orange juice, and looked over the menu almost everything on the menu sounded great.  I couldn’t decide and I was hungry. I looked to my right and two women were sitting next to me, and they had already received their food.  I said ” what is good here, could you recommend something for me to try?”  The women were happy to help, they both said ” try the Eggs benedict with homemade Hollandaise sauce, ” it comes on a english muffin, we are eating it right now.”  This dish sounded and looked great, so I ordered it.  The dish came in roughly 20 minutes, which I didn’t care, because I enjoy the fact that good food can’t be rushed.

As I bit into the dish and I was saying to myself, this food is fresh. I looked at the menu and noticed that a lot of the food they use, is sourced from local farms when in season and available..  I texted my friend, ” why didn’t you tell me their food was local, I said in the text. She texted back- how do you like it, I said it is fantastic, best eggs benedict I have ever had.  I proceeded to look around, I saw a sign that read, ” we compost our coffee grounds” ( beans). I was thinking how great, that they take the time to compost the grounds.  I left the place feeling pretty optimistic,  at the time, I didn’t know why. I have now been there three times, each time the dish I ordered was fantastic. I had no complaints.

As time went by, I was looking for a restaurant that was sustainable, an example for other restaurants, so to speak.  I was discussing this topic with my friend Brian, Brian said, ” Why don’t you contact snooze and ask them some questions.  A week went by and the idea of finding out who to talk to, Owner or Manager kept popping into my mind. So I went into snooze and talked to the manager ( it was very busy that day). I told him I have a food blog about connecting people to their food, and I was wondering if I could talk to the owner. The manager proceeded to say ” sure  I can help with that, so he gave me some connect info. I called the number as soon as I left Snooze. I talked with a women, she said sure, best person to talk to about why we decided to use local food, is Adam, one of the two brothers, who Own Snooze.  I was thinking to myself that each person I spoke with  at Snooze, were easy to talk and work with.  The lady had given me Adams email address.

I got home that day, and proceeded to email Adam. Within two days I received a response with ” it looks like your blog has some great potential to spread the word! So Adam agreed to a Phone interview, he mentioned it would be better for him over the phone, as he was expecting to be a new father very soon!  So here is the interesting Interview I had with him!

Bob K-   “Hi Adam how are you today” ?

Adam –  Hi Bob, I am great, just got back from California on business. I was at the Snooze in San Diego!   Looking at other possible locations as well, pretty excited about some of the possibilities.

Bob K- ” Sounds great!

Adam-  Why did you decide to Write a blog about food?

Bob K- ” I went through an illness, I had heavy metal poisioning, from Manganese.  Adam I basically  got to the  point of writing a blog about food, from all the research on our food system and how it greatly needs to change.  Our fractured/broken food system is the  problem of so many things in this country, and the rest of the word.  Adam I’m basically working on connecting people with food, and where their food comes from.

Adam- That’s interesting, I too have experienced how food can impact your health also, in some ways, my story is similar to yours!

Bob K-  So I was wondering if I could start with the first question!

Adam- Sure, go ahead.

Bob K- ” Adam How did you get started in the restaurant business, at least in regards to starting with Snooze?

Adam- ” My Brother brought me in. As a project manager, for strategy, a way to structure the business, to come up with a plan, if you will!”

Bob K- ” When did the idea of sourcing food locally come into the mix? Did it come at the beginning of Snooze or, later on?

Adam-  “It came at the very beginning. We feel community is very important , it is estimated that up to 90% of all restaurants customer base, is from within a three mile radius. We source tortilla, from the Tortilla Factory, one mile down the street. One of our suppliers uses wind power, to help with some of its energy usage.  We truly like to support the local communities, that are within roughly a five mile radius, of each Snooze. We have excellent food  representatives! We support sustainable agriculture ( its good Stewardship of the land). We get our milk locally form Morning Fresh. I think you might find it interesting to tour the their dairy farm, and they make the Nossa yogurt, that is sold at Wholefoods.”  We also have some of our staff take Butchery classes, to better understand the cuts, we get from the different farms we source from.” We source much of our coffee from Guatemala ( fair trade). I went to Guatemala, to check on how the workers were treated. I spent a week there, using a machete to cut through the jungle.  I like to understand where the food we source, comes from!

Bob- ” Why did you decide on using sustainable ways of running Snooze, for example Composting, recycling, etc?.

Adam- ” Bob we feel it’s just the right thing to do!” We want to leave Tomorrow as good, if not better than today.” To be responsible for our communities.  On the Sustainable Agriculture side of it, I had weight issues growing up and decided to educate myself, in some of the ways, you did yourself. I learned more about what is, and isn’t healthy for the body. As I applied different things and started to eat better, my weight and health started to greatly improve.

Let me mention another subject matter! Our father served in the military and fought in Vietnam, where unfortunately, he became ill from exposure to agent orange. He eventually died later from being poisoned by agent orange. So as you can see, this hits close to home for us.   I also found out that Monsanto one of the makers of Agent Orange,  makes almost all of the Pesticides and herbicides that are used in conventional farming in this country. ” Bob you can see how this is personal to us, we just couldn’t be apart of this!

Bob- Thanks for sharing this story Adam, it is very moving, I’m sorry you had to go through that!”

Adam- “We also save money on water, by being more sustainable, with how our business is ran. We become more innovative.  We are now working on having bike racks at each location, and in the future hope to have  bike routes designed in the community for people, to ride their bikes to snooze. Riding their bikes, will cut down and pollution if you will, and  people will become more healthy in general.

Bob ” What would be your advice for a restaurant wanting to work toward sustainability? What is the Sustainability training each one of your employees goes through?

Adam-” Baby steps Bob. sustainability can become overwhelming! One thing at a time. Start with local food when possible, then move on to saving energy, then how to make things more efficient in the kitchen. Then working with the community, go through the cycle of sustainability. Start with one thing, and then a year later, when you look at the cycle, you can improve on the first thing you did, then repeat the cycle each year. You become better at each element, just try not to overwhelm yourself.”

Adam- ” On the sustainability training for each of our employees- We teach Composting, recycling, there are basically 12 areas in the Restuarant we foucus on. We have an open dialog with each employee. We teach them how this way of living, will have a impact their own lives, and in many ways,  this can benefit them in their own homes.  We take field trips, we go to local Urban community gardens.  I’m apart of the Denver Seeds Project.

Bob K- ” What our some of the ways you engage with the Local communities?”

Adam- “1% of all of our sales at Snooze, go back into the communities where each snooze resides. We think community is so important.We also help with giving food to homeless shelters, when possible. We recently had a fundraiser for a Fire house that burned down from the recent fire near Fort Collins, we raised $11,000, so they could rebuild the fire house! We also work with the Samaritan House ( Building designed for the homeless, to feed, cloth and house them when needed).

Bob-” Adam I just want to finish by saying thank you very much, for your time, as I am sure you are very busy.  I appreciate your values, and truly like and commend, the way you work with, and help in your local communities. I feel in many ways you are a true example for the rest of the restaurants. in the Denver area and the rest of the country.

Adam- ” Thank you for those kind words and for the interview Bob, take care!

Bob- ” You take care also Adam, keep up the good work!

 

I would like to finish by saying, that it seams that Snooze, is an example in so may ways. of how to put values first, people before profit. What I mean by values is : Snooze’s value in each one of the communities it resides in. They engage with the community, helping with sourcing food locally when possible. They seem to want to know, where the food they serve comes from, how it is grown, how employees are treated. They want to connect with the places where the food comes from.  They value good fresh, clean food.  They just seem to care for people, in many ways it seems they put people first! For myself, this is a value, a characteristic that we could all aspire to.

I say to the owners and workers of Snooze thank you for caring, this couldn’t come at a better time in the world.  The world is looking for example of how to live and conduct a business with integrity. I think many could learn a thing or two from this restaurant called Snooze!     Take care everyone!  Thank you for caring enough to read this Interview and blog.   Peace

Your Friend,

Robert Kyes

August 21, 2012Permalink Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *