Glass jars of bulk food


I remember when I was a kid and my mom would take me a half hour away to piano lessons.  After the lesson, as a reward, Mom would take my brother and I to a store that had candy and gum and seeds and nuts in big barrels and bins, and you would take a baggie and fill it with as much as you needed (or wanted).  It was a magical place for a kid.


Well this new type of grocery store, popping up across Europe and now in New York, takes it one step further.  The consumer brings his or her own containers (think Tupperware or Mason jars), and you purchase only what is required.  This cuts down not only on plastic packaging waste, but also on food wasted that is not eaten when you buy a pre-packaged amount that is more than needed.  Our retail culture emphasizes customer convenience, but using more plastic bags and Styrofoam is not the answer.  Read more about them here.


Let’s translate this now into the Meetings and Events business.  If you are a meeting planner, you have to plan for all contingencies.  Too many attendees show up, too few attendees make it, the food runs out, the supplies you ordered don’t arrive on time.


That’s where we come in.  Every room at Catalyst Ranch is furnished with most supplies an attendee or planner could hope for: pens and pencils, notebooks and Post-its of all sizes, scissors, staplers, paper clips and rubber bands.  On top of that we have laptop power sources, in-room phone chargers, and many other odds and ends to help solve your last-minute needs.


Besides that, any leftover client food is put in biodegradable bags, if possible, and donated to Pacific Garden Mission, who will use it to help feed the homeless.  So, if you order food for 20 but only 10 show up, the food will certainly not go to waste!


Hopefully, in a few years, when I take my kids to get a treat after piano lessons, we will bring our own little jars and fill them up ourselves.