Saint Monday, Yackandandah
Chris McGorlick and Lauren Salathiel opened Saint Monday believing that it was possible to run a business with a lighter impact on the earth.
With a wealth of organic farms surrounding Yackandandah, the procurement of local, organic produce was “low hanging fruit”, and meant that the menu came to be largely plant based.
“It makes sense to us to use the ingredients that are most plentiful and accessible where we live, and that just happens to mean that our menu is highly seasonal and vegetarian or vegan,” Chris says.
“However, we reckon our food is interesting to people of diverse tastes - we love making tasty, wholesome meals from the produce our local farmers are so good at growing!”
Sourcing produce locally has gone a long way towards reducing the amount of waste produced by the cafe.
“All our local suppliers provide their goods in reusable packaging, which is an added bonus when we think about our contribution to the waste stream,” Chris says.
Saint Monday’s latest crusade has been to eliminate the use of disposable cups - not an easy feat when it comes to tourist customers.
“I’d say 99 per cent of our local regular takeaway customers don’t use disposable cups,” Chris says.
“We have a huge library of several hundred reusable mugs that we actively offer to every takeaway customer, encouraging them to take the cups and bring them back, like the Boomerang Bag scheme.
“It has been hugely successful in reducing the number of disposable takeaway cups we send out into the world - in fact, during the recent folk festival, not one single disposable cup was used at Saint Monday!
“Eventually we hope to not use disposable cups at all.”
Chris and Lauren are commonly asked what “Saint Monday” means.
It’s a dip of the hat to a pre-industrial tradition of self-employed artisans taking their Mondays off to enjoy the good life.
“It’s a secular extension of the Sabbath, really,” Chris says.
“People would spend ‘Saint Monday’ eating, drinking, singing, dancing, having fun - it was all about communal, hedonistic pleasure.
“We hope people feel that a visit to Saint Monday is exactly that...a place to stop for a bit, let the rest of the world go by, and celebrate the good life.”