The Team at Monica’s is known for thinking globally and acting locally, which is reflected in our vision, mission & goals. Utilizing and supporting local farms and other businesses is extremely important to us, as is offering you ingredients that are sustainable and responsible whenever we can. On that note, here are some things that you might like to know:
We were the first CarbonFree Partner® on the Kitsap Peninsula! This means that we offset the carbon footprint for our selves, our business and each of our employees. While we reduce what we can, we offset what we can’t, allowing us to take action on global warming now.
We work with Paul Gregory, an organic farmer in Silverdale, to provide you with the freshest in-season produce available. Paul also picks up our food waste to use as compost on his farm. It is a wonderful circle and we are working together to offer you more all the time.
Our dairy and eggs come from Dairy Fresh, a family owned business in Port Orchard. They ensure that our dairy products and chicken eggs are Western Washington grown, and free of hormones & antibiotics.
We get lots of produce and other food from our local small farms and producers, such as Abundantly Green, Pheasant Fields, Broken Ground Farm, Around the Table Farm and many more. We proudly use Valley Center Produce, a family-owned, independent distributor of produce based in Gorst.
Our house blend coffee comes from Personal Roast, right on the canal in Silverdale. Mike and Deborah are busy roasting organic, fair-trade beans to our specifications, and giving back to the community through donations of both time and money.
Local Bees keep us in sweet honey! Bob Martello in Seabeck lovingly wrangles the bees to keep us in the sweet stuff for our breads, baking, coffee and more.
We feature sodas from Humming Bird Hill, brewed in Silverdale. Their root beer is so good it sells out all the time!
Our flour is Washington’s own Shepherd’s Grain, an alliance of family farms dedicated to practicing sustainable agriculture. Their farming practices have been certified ‘environmentally and socially responsible’ by Food Alliance.
Those Fabulous Pickle Spears come from Pleasant Valley Farms in Mt Vernon.
The farro we use comes from Lucy family at Bluebird Grains in Winthrop and many of our other salad grains come from the Kisler family at Finn River Farms in the Chimacum Valley. Most of our legumes are from Palouse, WA, they are GMO-free and farmed by the Mader family.
A family owned and run business in Woodinville called Saltworks provides our salts. We use their Sonoma salt, which is the only commercially produced sea salt in the United States. Harvested from evaporation ponds in Northern California, this is a natural sea salt that contains no anti-caking or free flowing agents. We use their specialty salts in many of our recipes as well.
Our poultry is Washington/NW grown free-range and we source from small Northwest Farms for grass fed beef and natural, organic pork. Our salmon is wild-caught Washington or Alaskan. Everything else is chosen carefully to be safe and satisfying for you to eat.
We use olive oil, grape seed oil, coconut oil, nut oils and unsalted butter for fats in our cooking and baking. Nearly everything is made from scratch right here in our kitchen, so we can guarantee the the quality and freshness of every bite.
Our paper products, including baking papers and coffee filters, are unbleached, and we try to find paper products that are at least partly post-consumer recycled.
Our light bulbs are LED. Light Emitting Diode lighting is today’s most efficient way of illumination and lighting, with an estimated energy efficiency of 80%-90% when compared to traditional lighting and conventional light bulbs. This means that about 80% of the electrical energy is converted to light, while a ca. 20% is lost and converted into other forms of energy such as heat. LED lights are free of toxic chemicals, whereas most conventional fluorescent lighting bulbs contain a multitude of materials, like mercury, that are dangerous for the environment. LED lights contain no toxic materials and are 100% recyclable, and help us to reduce our carbon footprint by up to a third. The long operational life time span mentioned above means also that one LED light bulb can save material and production of 25 incandescent light bulbs.
We subscribe to green power through PSE and all of our cleaning supplies are environmentally friendly and chemical-free except for those chemicals required by law.
You may notice that we offer plastic utensils and paper cups. This is because we learned in an energy audit that it would be about the same impact on the environment to do that, as to wash ‘real’ dishes, due to energy, water and chemicals used in the washing process, and the amount of washing we would do. Using post-consumer recycled and recyclable items helps reduce our impact, and financially costs us less in the long long run, which means it saves you financially, too.
We compost our food waste, recycle everything that the county will take and monitor our water usage. We donate to the food bank several times a week support many local charities.
We want to leave a smaller footprint on this earth. We are doing some things well and we know there are lots of ways that we can do better. Some of them are expensive and therefore are our future goals. Other things we may not be aware of and we welcome your suggestions and ideas.
Monica’s Team is grateful to each customer who walks through our door. We know that you choose to come here and spend your time and money with us. We want you to know that we are taking responsibility, being active in our community, making the world a better place and taking better care of you with every bite you take.
Thank you for letting us feed you! ~Team Bakery
Mark and I could not do anything without our amazing staff. We are so grateful to each of them for all the hard work that they put in, and we want you to know them, too. We had a wonderful original crew who all decided to stay and help us grow. Most of them have since moved on to different paths, and we have welcomed new team members in. It is the ebb and flow of business, yet since we are truly a family here, each one of those occasions is something to celebrate.
Mark Downen – Lead Baker, Business Partner & Husband
Our lead baker, my business partner and my husband. Mark has always had a knack for baking and working with his hands; he was an auto mechanic for 16 years prior to this career move. We have been dating since 1987, when he was in the Marine Corps and I was in college. We married in 1991 and Mark has never failed to support me in anything; this café is no exception. I am Monica Downen, co-owner and operator of Monica’s Waterfront Bakery & Café. After I earned a B.A. in Criminal Justice I worked for the King County Sheriff’s Office for 15 years as a dispatcher/911 Operator. In July of 2005 I quit my job and, with the encouragement of my friends and family, entertained the idea of opening a restaurant. I had worked in all aspects of restaurants throughout high school and college, but that was a long time ago, so I knew I had some learning to do. After 11 months of informational interviews, mentoring and training, we opened this cafe under our own management.This life is far more than I could have ever bargained for, and I love every second of it. Even the less pleasant stuff is a learning experience and I start, and end, every single day with a huge THANK YOU!
Paul Gregory – Farmer
Our main farmer and definitely part of our team. He owns and runs Gregory Farms, growing delicious food organically and sustainably, just a few miles down the road. He has a CSA that you can join and pick up at the farm or right here at the cafe. He grows much of our produce, including kale and other hearty greens, 2 kinds of onions, carrots, cucumbers, melons, and more. He also forages for us and brings our huckleberries, sour cherries, rhubarb and many other delicious things. Thank goodness for farmers!