Chowgirls Sustainability

At Chowgirls Catering, we pride ourselves in leading the way in seasonal fare, thoughtful hospitality, standout experiences, and sustainable solutions. Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword we like to throw around. It has been rooted in our identity from the beginning and, in our business, it is measurable, reliable, and achievable.

Green From the Get-Go

Chowgirls was the first “green” caterer in Minnesota and has been leading the way in sustainable events ever since. As we have grown since 2004 from a small organization of just two women to having more than 100 employees and serving nearly 100,000 guests per year, so has our commitment to sustainability as we realize the significant impact of our work. Because we take our responsibility to our workplace, our community, and our world very seriously, we make mindful business decisions to craft quality food with respect for people and the planet.

Local, Seasonal, Organic

Chowgirls uses locally sourced, seasonal ingredients and opts for organic products whenever possible. Our ingredients, sourced from 51 main local farms and other purveyors, travel an average of 37.5 miles to get to our kitchen.

Food Rescue

We are proud to lead the way in food rescue by sharing extra food to hungry families in our communities through food donation programs. Both Hennepin County and Second Harvest Heartland have programs that allow us to donate prepared food that has been held at food-safe temperatures.

Chowgirls Waste Diversion Rate

Month Trash   Compost Recycling    Food Donation Plastic Wrap Total Weight % Trash % Diversion Rate
Feb 2020 940 1,496 1,320 180 57 3,993 23.54% 76.46%
Jan 2020 1,020 1,363 1,700 150 0 4,233 24.10% 75.90%
Dec 2019 1,220 1,287 1,780 0 80 4,367 27.94% 72.06%
Nov 2019 1,340 2,121 1,920 136 54 5,571 24.05% 75.95%
Oct 2019 1,220 2,320 1,760 163 65 5,528 22.07% 77.93%
Sep 2019 940 2,100 2,200 210 80 5,530 17.00% 83.00%
Aug 2019 1,120 3,081 1,920 135 40 6,296 17.79% 82.21%
Jul 2019 1,220 1,683 2,060 250 52 5,265 23.17% 76.83%
Jun 2019 1,260 1,900 2,000 160 42 5,362 23.50% 76.50%
May 2019 1,240 1,882 1,920 75 35 5,152 24.07% 75.93%
Apr 2019 1,160 1,083 1,780 260 41 4,324 26.83% 73.17%
Mar 2019 1,540 1,223 1,800 200 32 4,795 32.12% 67.88%

* All quantities are measured in pounds (lbs.)

The average wedding in the US produces 400lbs of trash. At Chowgirls, our average wedding produces only 10lbs.

Waste Diversion

We are very dedicated to diverting as much waste from landfills and incineration as possible. Through composting, recycling, donating leftovers to a food rescue program, participating in a special plastic recycling program, and serving on reusable platters and equipment, Chowgirls is constantly moving closer to our goal of zero waste. On average, 85% of our byproducts are composted or recycled.

Living Wage

We focus on the sustainability of our staff by creating a safe, sane, and social work place. We offer living wages and wellness benefits to all employees. We are committed to making Chowgirls a place people want to work with safe work policies, sane working hours, and fun social programs.

“Chowgirls is doing a fantastic job of creating a culture of sustainability. You’ve incorporated some practices that go above and beyond standard business procedures and really make an impact on the waste you create. It’s great to have an example to share with other businesses on how to make this work.”

- Amy Maas, Business Recycling Specialist, Hennepin County

About Chowgirls Catering

Chowgirls Catering is a women-owned, award-winning Minneapolis catering company delivering good taste via sustainable, approachable fare and thoughtful hospitality. Email us at to discuss your next event!

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