Archive for April, 2010

Hooray for (Vampire-free) Twilight

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Pack up those picnic baskets and gather your folding chairs. The Missouri History Museum’s Twilight Tuesdays concert series delivers its first chord of the season tonight when L.L.C. takes the stage, and you won’t want to miss a beat.

This evening, expect classics from Barry White, Luther Vandross and others, and then expect the party to continue each week through June 8, with a lineup including El Caribe Tropical’s 11-piece Latin orchestra, Boogie Chyld’s tribute to Michael Jackson, and the Sinatra Soundbook featuring the Steve Schankman Orchestra. We’re especially looking forward to June 1, when Faith Celebration Choir – the regional champs of How Sweet the Sound: The Search for the Best Church Choir in America – show off their winning notes.

twighlightWhat: Twilight Tuesdays
When: Tuesdays through June 8 – 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: The Missouri History Museum’s front lawn, Lindell &DeBaliviere, St. Louis
Cost: Free admission; picnics are welcome or purchase refreshments from Butler’s Pantry
Info: 314.454.3199 or (Call 800.916.8212 after 3 p.m. in the case of bad weather.)

Trash Turned into Water: BP Goes Green

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

“Green Machine” Liquefies Waste

By John Abule for &
4:28 PM CDT, April 21, 2010


ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI & KPLR) – A St. Louis catering company is blazing a new trail for waste management. Butler’s Pantry at 14th and Park is turning garbage into water. They’ve come up with a process to send it flowing through sewers instead of sitting in landfills.

Butler’s Pantry is an industry giant. They may rack up $5 million in revenue before this year is out. That adds up to a lot of garbage. Worried about filling up landfills, they made an investment a month ago. They spent $40 thousand for a foreign-made appliance called “The Green Machine.”

Richard Nix, Jr., Butler’s Pantry President says “We didn’t try to focus on dollars and cents. We tried to focus on how we could make the environment a little bit better.”

Basically, biodegradable waste goes in and a rather clear liquid comes out during a 24-hour cycle. Imported from South Korea, the machines are big in Europe where landfill space is at a premium.

But this is the only one of its kind in the Midwest.

“We’re doing about 250 pounds of trash a day in the machine over the past three weeks,” Nix says.

The waste water has passed all purity tests. Butler’s Pantry officials say they’ve been given the seal of approval by both the Metropolitan Sewer District and the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

…We Started Liquifying our Leftovers

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

By Aimee Levitt, Tuesday, Apr. 20 2010 @ 1:40PM
Daily RFT

orca_FPO​How do you dispose of your trash? Do you shove it in a plastic bag and send it off to decompose in a landfill? Do you shove it down your garbage disposal and let the little blades chop it into tiny bits that can float through the sewer? Do you compost it and turn it into fertilizer? St. Louis caterer Butler’s Pantry has just invested in a novel form of garbage disposal: the Orca Green composting “bioreactor,” which turns waste into gray water and carbon dioxide.

The Orca Green doesn’t come cheap. The St. Louis Business Journal reports that the company paid $40,000 for the machine, but president Richard Nix, Jr., told the Business Journal that with the money he’ll be saving on trash-hauling, he expects the machine to pay for itself within a few years.

The machine looks like a small, stainless-steel Dumpster and can process up to 2,000 pounds of waste per day. It uses environmentally-friendly microorganisms that break down food and biodegradable materials over the course of 24 hours. The machine operates at a low temperature so it doesn’t smell, and the manufacturers promise that it leaves no sludge or other waste products behind.

orcatimeline-thumb-565x121Nix adds that Butler’s Pantry will be bringing the leftovers from large catering jobs back to the kitchen to process in the Orca Green. The company is also investigating ways to use the gray water byproduct as fertilizer in its herb garden.

The Orca Green was invented in South Korea; there are currently only about 7,000 in use in the world and one in St. Louis.

Here’s a video that shows how the machine works:

First in Midwest to Turn Trash Into Liquid

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

St. Louis Business Journal – by Kelsey Volkmann

green butlerButler’s Pantry, one of the largest caterers in St. Louis, is the first business in the Midwest to install a machine that turns food waste and disposable dishware into a liquid that can be safely flushed into the sewer in 24 hours.

The caterer bought the Orca Green composting machine for $40,000 from Green Smart Food Services and installed it at the end of March, said Butler’s Pantry President Richard Nix Jr.

Orca Green, which stands for organic refuse conversion alternative, uses micro-organisms to eat the food waste so it doesn’t have to be hauled to a dumpster and landfill.

The machine looks like a stainless steel dishwasher and processes 225 pounds to 240 pounds of organic waste each day at Butler’s Pantry. Nix said he expects the machine to pay for itself in a couple years thanks to savings in trash-hauling expenses. Butler’s Pantry has 300 part-time and 55 full-time employees and expects to report more than $5 million in revenue in 2010.

Bob Bedell, former president and chief executive of the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission, who left St. Louis to work in the same position at the Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, started Green Smart Food Services in 2008 with Scott Tegarden and Jack Croghan. Bedell plans to eventually move back to St. Louis to help run Green Smart, which has eight employees. Bedell and Croghan’s business ties go back several years, as the former recruited the latter to start sports operations at the Edward Jones Dome. At sports events and conventions, the pair saw concession leftovers and dinner scraps “going out the back door of those facilities,” Croghan said. They thought there had to be a more efficient and environmentally friendly way to dispose of the trash, leading them to start Green Smart, which also distributes biodegradable drinking cups and cutlery.

Green Smart distributes Orca Green systems and partners with Totally Green of Atlanta to import them from South Korea, where it was pioneered and has been used for decades. About 7,000 of these machines have been installed, mostly in Asia and Europe where there isn’t enough space for landfills. The Orca Green system is used by Morgan Stanley in New York, Emory University in Atlanta, Whole Foods in Atlanta and on Royal Caribbean cruise ships. The units range in cost from $23,000 to $60,000, depending on the size of the unit.

Croghan said he sees even more opportunities for hospitals, prisons, schools and hotels to save thousands of dollars with the technology.

Butler’s Pantry is exploring the possibility of using the machine’s byproduct as a fertilizer on its company herb gardens, Nix said. The caterer is also test-driving the practice of taking the leftovers from certain events it caters, such as a 400-person dinner at Washington University, for example, back to its kitchen to dump into the Orca Green, he said.

“At universities, there would be a huge impact on trash trucks on streets and the loads they are taking,” he said.

“It’s just one small step that we are excited to take.”

full article

Machine Reduces Food Waste for St. Louis Business

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

By Lisa Watson
Originally published April 19, 2010 at 4:56 p.m. for the St. Louis Globe Democrat.

Butler’s Pantry has found a new way to reduce its food waste.

The catering service that runs the Palladium Saint Louis on Park Avenue, as well as Bixby’s at the Missouri History Museum, Butler’s Pantry has long been looking for new ways to operate sustainably, said President Richard Nix.

“It used to be you just bought a bigger trash can,” he said.

Three weeks ago, the catering service partnered with Green Smart Food Services to purchase an Orca Green, Nix said. The first of its kind in the Midwest, the Orca Green is a composting machine that takes in organic food waste and produces only water.

“This was an opportunity to be a pioneer with something no one else in St. Louis has,” Nix said. “It has a real impact on what we throw away.”

Here’s how the machine works: The food is added, and every hour a little water is sprinkled on it. The machine churns the food, which is processed by living micro-organisms. Within 24 hours, the food is turned into nutrient-rich water that can be used for landscaping, gardening or go directly into the sewer system.

Butler’s Pantry plans currently directs the water into the sewer system, but the chef plans to test using it in his garden later this spring, Nix said.

The water is not pure enough for drinking, but could theoretically be purified to that level, said Jack Croghan, partner at Green Smart Food Services.

The micro-organisms are completely safe, Croghan said. He compared them to micro-organisms that naturally live inside the human digestive system.

“They’re around us every day,” he said.

The machine also contains biochips, Croghan said. If no food waste is put into the machine for a couple of days, he said, the micro-organisms will attach to the biochips as they wait for more food. The biochips, which are patented, look like small brown food pellets.

“It’s good for the environment and helps businesses,” Croghan said.

The machine reduces the amount of leftover food that is taken to a landfill, which is good for the environment and can reduce costs for food service businesses, Croghan said.

At $23,000 for the least expensive model, which processes 200 pounds of food per day, the Orca Green is not meant for residential use. But with the amount of waste that no longer needs to be taken to the landfill, businesses eventually earn savings on their waste bills, Croghan said.

Butler’s Pantry is currently processing 225 pounds of food per day, and Nix said they are ramping up its operation as they find new uses, Nix said.

Right now the machine is mostly used for food in house, Nix said, but the company recently catered an event at Washington University and brought the waste back to headquarters to go into the Orca Green.

“We think it’s a real plus for our clients,” he said, because they wouldn’t have to worry about disposing food waste from large events.

full article

Customer Feedback – March 2010

Monday, April 19th, 2010

“We just wanted you to know that my wife and I were very pleased with everything the Butler’s Pantry staff did at our wedding in the Missouri History Museum. First of all, the food turned out just delicious, and many of our guests commented about it. In addition, we thought the working staff that evening did a great job in managing the “flip”. Service was quick, efficient, and courteous. And last but not least, we wanted to add you [the catering manager] to the list of positives: my daughter thought you were very helpful in managing all her concerns and worries that typically pop up in these kind of events.”
Wedding Reception at Missouri History Museum, March 27, 2010

A New ‘Twist’ on Chair Ties

Friday, April 16th, 2010


Looking for a new way to accent your table designs?

We took a simple chivari chair & an ordinary chair tie & created a fresh new look.  This elegant design is achieved by weaving the chair tie through the rungs of the chair back until you end up with two short ends that you tie in a knot.  Add an accent such as this single rose and your look is complete.

It only takes a few minutes to turn ordinary into dazzling!

1414 Park Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63104 / Phone: (314) 664-7680 / Fax: (314) 664-9866