Blog : Green Story: 900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria

By Craig | Oct 2, 2014 | in

Every Green Alliance business undergoes a Sustainability Certification. This certification serves to show everyone what each business has accomplished and what they are still working to accomplish when it comes to green business practices. The final part of the evaluation is the Green Story. Check out 900 Degrees' Green Story below.

900 Degrees Turns Up Heat for Green

There are many reasons for why three in five restaurants fail within five years of throwing open the doors: overly ambitious business plans, tough competition, lack of a coherent marketing strategy. The list goes on.

More often than not, however, it’s the daily margins – how much you’re making on every burger, salad, or sundae – that prove the impossible puzzle. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone that going green out of the gate is seen by many a restaurateur as a dangerous luxury, a way to all but guarantee a quick-ticking clock to broke and belly up.

Priscilla Lane-Rondeau never bought into that false equivalency, and her business – Manchester’s famed 900 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria, which opened a second location in Epping last winter – is about to go to the next level because of it.

“It’s not like I’m alone on this – customers really do want it,” Lane-Rondeau exclaims. “People go out of their way to tell us how supportive they are of our practices. I even had one woman call me and ask whether any of our ingredients used GMOs. I appreciate that. People are coming here because it’s a green restaurant – because it’s the right thing to do.”

900 Degrees was launched in an effort to create pizza as they were originally conceived in Naples, Italy hundreds of years ago. The process is as familiar as it is timeless: using a wood-fired brick oven fired up to as high as 1200 degrees, the crew uses authentic, daily-made dough, fresh ingredients, and a cacophony of flavors local and exotic alike to create this classic dish the way it was originally intended. But that’s not all the restaurant offers; from soups and salads to pastas, appetizers and deserts, 900 Degrees are, like the restaurant’s famed pizzas, all made using local ingredients whenever possible.

But what truly sets 900 Degrees apart from the competition is the atmosphere: eschewing Formica tables and plastic chairs in lieu of charming arrangements that harken to a bygone time, Rondeau has created a truly unique dining experience to match the top notch eats and delicious libations – including eight wines made from organically-grown grapes.

After years working in a variety of fields, Rondeau has made good on her long-held dream of owning and operating her own restaurant, and doing it in as sustainable and community-minded a manner possible. Embracing the goal of consistently reducing the restaurant’s environmental footprint, Rondeau’s green efforts – LED lighting and motion sensors throughout the restaurant, locally-sourced ingredients, a comprehensive recycling program, low-VOC paints and seals, water conservation efforts, just to name a few – remain a beaming beacon to restaurants throughout the region.

Indeed, Rondeau says that, in an age where customers will often research a restaurant before giving it a try, her patrons are inherently aware of some of the eatery’s sustainability measures. As for employees, orientation includes a laundry list of green to-dos with which perspective hires must familiarize themselves.

“It was all a no-brainer for me. It wasn’t hard; it was natural,” Lane-Rondeau says. “It’s simple: the lest waste you have, the better you do. Add in the local and green components, and you have a program that works, and the customers are starting to be more conscious of that.”

All of this, combined with Rondeau’s intrepid community involvement, puts 900 Degrees more than a few slices above the competition.

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