Our business purpose is to Inspire Others
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. Our duck eggs come from Abundantly Green farm in Poulsbo.
We get lots of produce and other food from our local small farms and producers, such as Abundantly Green, Pheasant Fields, Broken Ground Farm, Roots Farm, and many more. We proudly use Charlie’s Produce, a local, independent distributor of produce with an emphasis on local, when seasons allow.
Our house blend coffee comes from Aviator Coffee, right here in Kitsap.
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 the 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 sea 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 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 through an energy audit that it would be about the same impact on the environment to do that, as to wash ‘real’ dishes, due to the 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 with Farmer Paul, recycle everything that the county will take, and monitor our water usage.
Our mission is to nourish our community through engaged relationships and one way we fulfill that is to donate our leftovers to the food bank several times a week. We also send food to the Kitsap Rescue Mission and Taking It To the Streets Ministries, and we support many other local charities. We accept community donations for our neighbors in need, taking them to where they are needed, and offer a wonderful ‘pay it forward’ program called “Suspended Coffee”, where anyone can donate any amount they like to a gift card we use to feed those who can’t afford a meal. We also partner with the Kitsap Conservation District by processing soups for the food bank made primarily from the KCD’s produce, and donate 1 quart to the food bank for every quart you purchase.
We want to leave a smaller footprint and a deeper well of compassion 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 nourish you!
~Monica and her Fabulous Team
Mark and I could not do anything without our amazing team and we prioritize them over all else; we understand that a happy team will ensure everything else works out and the customers will benefit even more. We are so grateful to each of them for the hard work that they put in, the ideas and creativity they bring to the business, and for their participation in our little family. From our original crew to our newest team members and everyone in between, developing our people has defined our ‘why’. The ebb and flow of business dictates constant change, yet since we are truly a family here, each one of those people is someone to celebrate.
MARK DOWNEN – LEAD BAKER, BUSINESS PARTNER & HUSBAND
Our first 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. 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!