Solar Dedication Ceremony
June 13, 2007, 1 p.m.
1:00 – 1:30 p.m. Press Event
- Welcome - Mark Pascal and Francis P. Schott, Jr. Co-owners
- NJ’s Solar Market – Jeanne Fox, BPU President
- Joe Forline, Vice President of Customer Relations, PSE&G
- NJ Restaurants and Solar Energy – Deborah Dowdell, NJRA President
- NJ Senator Barbara Buono – Global Warming
- Questions from the Press
1:30 – 2:00 Tour/View of Solar Energy (The Heldrich Hotel)
Local and Sustainable Food Sourcing
Remarks by Francis Schott
15 Years ago we opened Stage Left and began a quest to find the best possible ingredients. We expanded it with the opening of Catherine Lombardi two years ago.
This search for the best led us to local farms and greenmarkets. We realized that the search for the best possible ingredients most often led to our own local farmers. This has led to many long term relationships with our farmers. Today we served
We buy from them in the summer time and we re-learned the art of putting up fruits and vegetables (and LOTS of tomato sauce for Catherine Lombardi) for use in the winter. In all these endeavors we came to realize that the best tasting food was often also best for our local farmers, for the community that is made richer by having working farms and for the environment, because the methods that most often produce the best food are most often produced sustainable.
Our guests (the wonderful community that supports us) love it and keep coming back, our business thrives, our ratings and reviews have never been higher. The lesson we would like to get out to people is that by focusing on local and sustainable practices, restaurants have a unique opportunity to do well by doing what is right.
With the unexpected and unprecedented success of our radio show, The Restaurant Guys, we’ve been able to take our message to a national and even international audience. It’s been well received.
Recently we realized that the water on our tables and the tables of so many restaurants is shipped from far away places like Italy or Fiji. Why in the world were we spending all that money and expending all that fuel and creating all those greenhouse gasses and sometimes all those wasted plastic bottles? It’s ridiculous.
New Jersey has fabulous tasting sources of pure water right here that we grew up on. Rock Spring was first discovered in West Orange 1820. The water comes from West Orange's Watchung Mountains and was at one time believed to have curative powers. City dwellers in Newark and New York City would travel for it. We have just contracted with Rock Spring Water Company in West Orange to serve their water in our restaurants beginning next month. It’s fabulous and you’re drinking it right now. We will be the first restaurant to pour it. NJ water in NJ.
Remarks by Mark Pascal
Two years ago, we had on our Radio Show Ted Hall of Long Meadow Ranch and Winery and he talked about bringing his winery solar and our initial reaction was he had a big farm with lots of open space in the country it was a good idea but it could never translate to anything we could do in the city .
But Francis and I have never been good at taking no for an answer so we investigated further. While the cost of this installation was over $80,000, we found help at all levels of government and from the BPU. This project required a significant investment on our part but we believe in the end it will have been a profitable investment for us. Again we are able to do well and do good at the same time.
We’re particularly heartened to know that our efforts may lead others to follow and do well for themselves as well as good for the environment . For instance, we know that after hearing about our plans on our radio show, The Restaurant Guys, the owners of The Frog and The Peach have also installed solar panels and are currently awaiting BPU approval. We sincerely hope that through this press conference others will learn about these opportunities.
As Francis mentioned earlier we take this local and sustainable movement very seriously. We are proud to announce that on August 19th we will take the Farm to table movement to the next step and we will be having a Table to Farm Dinner . One of our local suppliers is a gentleman farmer by the name of Mike Baker in East Brunswick. We will be going to his farm, and creating a dinner from the products that surround us during dinner.