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Their mission is based on three essential pillars: smart consumption, ethical production, and waste reduction. Sustainabowl has structured its supply chain, physical location, and entire business around leaving zero negative effects on the environment.
Everything from food to appliances to furniture is sourced sustainably through founder Jasmol Singh’s extensive supply chain construction. Food packaging is the main cause of marine pollution. It causes danger in the near future to our environment and wellbeing. Sustainabowl not only aims to serve a remarkable meal, but also aspires to enlighten our community about the danger of plastic usage and its harm on our ocean. It strives to contribute to global goal 3: good health and well being, global goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, and global goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.
Jasmol was raised in India where he grew up eating fresh food for every meal. His family, friends, and entire neighborhood all had access to local, fresh foods. When he came to Los Angeles, he found that the United States did not have that same focus on freshness; Americans seemed to be consuming mostly fast foods from their restaurants. There was a massive shortage of locally-sourced produce and fish restaurants. This led Jasmol to found Sustainabowl, which committed itself not only to sustainable foods, but also to fresh and local ingredients as well. Jasmol hopes that his inspiration can show others that his vision is possible for all restaurants.
How Sustainabowl receives its raw materials and ingredients has a relatively small but effective impact on the restaurant supply chain. One important source is the fish they use in their culinary creations. Their fish is shipped raw, not frozen, from Tahiti and Fiji where the governments do not allow overfishing. This practice encourages sustainability in the fishing community during a period where most of the world abuses the seas. Many larger countries allow huge corporations to take over its seas and catch a much higher volume of fish than necessary. This recklessness in production leads to overconsumption and an unnecessary waste of food. Additionally, Sustainabowl aims to base its menu on seasonal food items and California-grown fruits and vegetables. Offering foods when they are in season and in abundance promotes better consumption habits and creates a perfect example for initiating a more sustainable supply chain as well. Additionally, they are supporting locality and any farmers close in proximity to further their cause.
After speaking with Jasmol, head chef and founder of Sustainabowl, we were able to see that his impact on the community comes from the example he has set. Consuming responsibly and supporting sustainable methods of obtaining raw ingredients for their culinary works is what every restaurant or cafe should prioritize. We live in a time where unethical consumption practices have overemphasized our ecological footprint and prove to be detrimental to our environment. We need to take any steps necessary to restore our planet back to a balance through efforts to cut down overconsumption and implementing sustainable development goals in the workplace. In addition to their culinary efforts, we also see the restaurant’s efforts to utilize remains from particular tragic events that have happened in California. All of their furniture and seating arrangements in the location are manufactured out of the wood remains from the forest fires that tormented California over the past years. These extra steps to implement sustainable supply practices permeate through all facets of the business. In light of all their efforts, we believe Singh and Sustainabowl are taking necessary steps towards the restoration of our environment and are influencing their community while doing so.
Sustainabowl is filling a need in the restaurant market. Consumers have developed personal relationships with Jasmol because of his unique drive and mission; they feel connected to the story and want to support his vision. Diners are no longer just shopping for the lowest monetary price, they are also looking for the lowest environmental price. Especially in Los Angeles, many consumers are wanting to find ways to avoid harming the environment with their purchases. Sustainabowl allows consumers that ability, while also being delicious and not prohibitively expensive. Jasmol’s current success shows that this business model does have a competitive advantage in an ever-changing market.
Sustainabowl is also proud to be the first Surfrider Ocean Friendly Restaurant in Silicon Beach. This organization partners with over 650 businesses to promote the idea of plastic-free restaurants. Sustainabowl serves this mission by contributing no novel plastics to the global waste problem. Not even the takeaway containers use petroleum-based plastics. Instead, Sustainabowl uses cornstarch to make an easily-compostable alternative.
Sustainabowl sees the concept of sustainability as a process that will take many years and likely lifetimes. As a business, the overarching goal is obviously to expand, but not for purely financial reasons. Instead, founder Jasmol Singh’s vision for sustainable food to be the main source for Angelenos’ diets is the driver for this goal. To get there, expansion of the business must happen, but more importantly, the expansion of influence must occur. Jasmol gave the example of Tesla’s widespread adoption of its electric vehicles after hybrids were widely adopted; Sustainabowl wants to become a market leader so that all restaurants, even its competitors, can follow in a widespread adoption of sustainable food in Los Angeles. Sustainabowl has spent its entire lifetime building relationships with its community and customers, and has noticed that there are a surprising amount of Angelenos who want to consume a fully sustainable diet. Because of this, it is important that Sustainabowl encourages every restaurant to adopt sustainable practices, regardless of whether it stays a smaller business or transforms into a dominant market leader.
Jasmol Singh, Founder
Sustainabowl is a restaurant focused on sustainability, located in the Westchester neighborhood of Los Angeles. Its goal is to “create an unforgettable dining experience while being mindful of our waste output.” They have been operating for three years out of their single Los Angeles location, serving poké and acai bowls that are sustainable from farm to fertilizer.