Sustenance

  • Sustenance is a restaurant that makes local food for local people. With a focus on a pared down menu and simple dishes, high quality, local ingredients take the spotlight. Sustenance is a sustainable restaurant that has several initiatives to reduce or eliminate restaurant waste, and also has a market aspect where the restaurant and farmers that provide ingredients to the restaurant can sell produce and goods. 
  • Sustenance is located at 72 Wooster Street in the heart of Soho, NYC. 
  • Sustenance serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Their menus change seasonally. More permanent dishes are printed on menus whose paper comes from printers’ odd lots. The menu is designed in a way to print on a single sheet that cuts into three pieces for a day’s worth of dishes without creating any waste.
  • Sustenance relies on local farmers to provide their food, and this means their shipments of food can change week to week. If they have an overabundance of anything, Sustenance can sell extra goods as jams, preserves, or pickles in their market section. 
  • Sustenance’s business card also functions as a punch card. For every Sustenance brand jar purchased at the restaurant, customers get a stamp. Collect nine stamps and get a free jar of your choice.
    Sustenance also participates in a seed sharing program. They embed seeds from their garden into paper which they sell in their market. These cards have the information about the seeds, as well as a meal to make with what can be grown.
  • Sustenance has no take out waste. If you get food to go, you put down a deposit and receive your food in a tiffin. When you return to the restaurant for your next meal, they will exchange your tiffin for a fresh one with your food in it. You can also return the tiffin to get your deposit back.
  • John Ehrenfeld, the author of Flourishing, will be giving a talk during the grand opening of Sustenance. The invitation directs people to the website to RSVP.
  • The website, in addition to having Sustenance’s daily menu, also has a recipe database. The database identifies your current location and suggests recipes based on what is in season in your area.
  • The website also has an advanced recipe search where you can check off boxes based on what ingredients, allergies, and dietary preferences you have. The mobile version shows what it looks like once you search the recipes.
  • When you walk into Sustenance, you are greeted by the market portion of the restaurant. There is a counter where you order your food. Drinks and pastries are stored and made upstairs, while the kitchen is downstairs. There are many options for seating. In the back, there are compost and recycling bins. 
  • Above the counter are framed white boards that feature the drinks, as well as daily specials. These specials can be written in and adjusted with white board markers, or removed if there are too many.