The Mad Priest celebrated their green|light certification with a green ribbon cutting ceremony at green|spaces’ monthly Green Drinks. green|light is a third-party business certification, helping businesses with employee attraction and retention, a stronger public image, cost savings and environmental stewardship. The program from green|spaces focuses on locally-owned small to large organizations throughout Chattanooga and the surrounding area who are interested in improving their social and environmental impacts.
A trifecta of brick-and-mortars, The Mad Priest encompasses an espresso bar on Broad Street, an all-day cafe and bar on Cherry Street, and the newly opened coffee roastery on Wilcox (not open to the public). The Mad Priest is dedicated to not only creating an excellent product (coffee, cocktails, and food), but nurturing social and environmental initiatives, said officials.
"For us, participating in green|light was an easy decision as we want to do our best to use our business to impact several areas of life and community," said Michael Rice, The Mad Priest owner/operator. "With environmental being an arm of that, we wanted a structure and accountability to the goals we had set, and GL provided that. We believe it will also be a resource to improving our goals and always innovating the things to help create a better world around us."
As the first coffee and cocktail bar focused on zero waste, The Mad Priest diverts most of their waste from the landfill. Completely compostable or recyclable, all materials are curated, including compostable coffee cups, lids, straws, and take-away containers, of which are composted through Compost House. Additionally, coffee grounds and chaff are donated to local farms for use with their livestock.
"The Mad Priest, throughout their three locations, has focused on sustainability from the beginning," said Kelley Cureton, green|light program director. "This is one of those instances where environmental and social considerations are top of mind, and contribute to their culture and their customer’s experience. We are thrilled to certify them as a green|light business and the only company pursuing a zero-waste goal. We can all learn something from Michael, Cherita and their tremendous team."
Other facts about The Mad Priest:
Matt Sears of Haskel Sears designed the entire build-out of the Cherry Street bar, repurposing wood products and materials, with high-efficiency fixtures and HVAC system.
Partnering with Bridge Refugee Services Chattanooga, Mad Priest has hired four resettled refugees the past few years (across all locations) and developed a curriculum to train them in English, customer service, and other hard and soft skills.
The Mad Priest won Sustainable Business of the Year, Judges Choice and People’s Choice in the 4th Annual BRIC Awards on July 10.
Businesses currently pursuing green|light:
Niedlov’s Breadworks, city of Chattanooga, Crabtree Farms, Reflection Riding Nature Center and Arboretum, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Humanaut, Elea Blake Cosmetics, Yoga Landing, Calamansi Cafe, Wildflower Tea and Apothecary, Hummingbird Pastaria, Vibrant Meals, Feed Table and Tavern, Parkway Pourhouse, 1885 Grill, Tremont Tavern, Southern Adventist University, and Frothy Monkey.
green|light certified businesses:
Compass Commissioning and Design, EPB, REV Centre for Optimal Living, AEED, Chambliss, Chattanooga Zoo, Crash Pad, Flying Squirrel, Kelly Subaru, Lupi’s Pizza, Office Furniture Warehouse, Real Estate Partners, River City Company, Ruby Falls, Sportsbarn, Strand Salon, University of Tennessee Chattanooga, Whiteboard, SPOT Venue, and Bridge Financial Planning.