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Have you ever been walking along, and you come across a smell that instantly takes you back to a certain place and time? They say our sense of smell is strongly tied to our memory, and I’ll never forget the first time I walked into an Outpost store over 15 years ago. The moment I entered the produce department at Capitol Drive I felt a distinct rush of fresh, clean air enter my lungs that made me instantly perk up. How many grocery stores have the ability to sear a memory like that into your brain for decades?

This feeling of freshness and vitality was quickly followed by a smiling member of the staff, and I was off on an adventure to explore this unique bastion of goodness. Little did I know that years later I would be the new Sustainability Manager for Outpost and loving every minute of it!

For the uninitiated, sustainability means meeting the needs of our current generation, while taking into consideration the needs of future generations. When it comes to how this pertains to running a business, it is equal respect for the environmental, social and financial impacts our business has on the community. It means focusing on organic produce without the pesticides. It means supporting local farmers and producers to keep our dollars in the community. It means composting almost 2,000,000 pounds of organic material since 2013. It means treating our fellow employees how we’d like to be treated ourselves and giving back to the community that has given us so much. It also means respecting our Triple Bottom Line (People, Planet, Profit) and making sure our for-profit business makes enough money to continue being a positive force in the community.

My first main projects are tied to continually improving our waste diversion, so we send even less to the landfill, and leading our Plastics Committee to work towards eliminating the use of petroleum-based plastics in our Central Kitchen and Cafes. In a culture where even the most conscientious among us values convenience, there are no easy solutions and it requires bringing different stakeholders to literally sit down at the same table and figure out how we can move forward. It’s a challenge I enjoy and a puzzle that I look forward to piecing together on behalf of our amazing owners, our planet and our community!

Kurt Baehmann

Sustainability Manager


In this issue:

DESTINATION POTLUCK Around the world in four dishes

A SPRING FLING ITALIAN STYLE That's amore in your cucina

GONE FISHING Reeling in Outpost's super sushi

ALL OILED UP Our periodic table of cooking oils and fats

and more ...




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