A SOUTH Devon cafe has been awarded the highest ever rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
The award has gone to Cafe-ODE in Shaldon, which is the sister restaurant of ODE-Dining, the Sustainable Restaurant of the Year 2012.
Cafe-ODE was opened in May this year by owners Tim and Clare Bouget with the aim of being the most socially and environmentally responsible restaurant in the country – and they have succeeded.
The purpose-built cafe that serves local, seasonal food with an emphasis on local fish and seafood, achieved 100 per cent in six of the 14 sections of the SRA’s Sustainability Rating and achieved an overall score of 94 per cent.
ODE-Dining scored an almost as impressive 90 per cent in its new, 2012 SRA rating. ODE’s success comes two months after the River Cottage’s Plymouth Canteen received the SRA’s previous highest rating, scoring 89 per cent.
The SRA assessors were particularly impressed with the cafe’s sourcing of locally produced organic vegetables and meat.
Tim said: “We are so thrilled that all our efforts to make Cafe-ODE as sustainable as possible have been recognised.
"We are very lucky that the cafe is situated in such a beautiful spot right by the sea, surrounded by fantastic producers.
"It would be a travesty if we did not take advantage of this great setting and take the opportunity to showcase the amazing available produce to our customers, many of whom really value the integrity of what we are doing.”
As well as its almost flawless sustainable sourcing Cafe-ODE also demonstrated excellent environmental standards - recycling paper, glass, cardboard, cooking oil and plastic and using renewable electricity. Its commitment to sustainability is genuinely built in – with a grass roof, designed to attract local wildlife. Most of the materials involved in the construction were recycled and there is solar thermal energy equipment installed to keep the environmental impact to a minimum.
Equally notable was Cafe-ODE’s dedication to the local community – running cooking classes for schoolchildren from the village as well as well as raising money for the local wildlife trust.
Next on the agenda for Cafe-ODE is its own beer – with a brewery due to open shortly.
Mark Linehan, managing director of the SRA, said: “With this outstanding rating, Cafe-ODE has really set a standard to which restaurants across the country can aspire. It’s clear that Tim and his team understand the big picture and have a fantastic eye for the detail as well as for innovation and inspiration.”
The SRA has rated more than 400 restaurants of all types across the UK including Michelin starred establishments like Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, groups like Wahaca and D&D, as well as fish and chip shops, hotel restaurants and pubs.