BETTER INGREDIENTS. BETTER JOBS.
We're on a mission to provide not only great food and wonderful service, but also a thoughtfully crafted dining experience that seeks to address the complicated ethics that surround restaurant food and restaurant work. Restaurants can reflect the problems of the world we live in, but they can also be engines for change. We source our ingredients carefully. We invest in and empower our team members. We want to be a good restaurant - in all senses of the word.
ABOUT OUR INGREDIENTS
We will always serve meat that is pasture-raised and humanely slaughtered, sourced from the Northeast – in 2012, this was a first in Boston’s food truck community. We think it’s important to eat real, honest meat, and support the people who work so hard to produce it.
We emphasize working with small, independent family farms and producers and are able to source about 70% our produce from the Northeast across the year. When we’re planning our menu, we start with what’s available – not with what’s traditional. We believe that an all or majority-local menu is more possible than lots of people think!
We strive to source our ‘workhorse ingredients’ with the same care that many restaurants reserve for produce. At Mei Mei, you’ll find carefully selected cage-free eggs, whole grains and freshly milled flours, organic tofu, small batch soy sauce, maple syrup and honey, and lots and lots of cheese all from the Northeast.
ABOUT OUR PRACTICES
We are very proud to be a certified Sustainable Business Leader by the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts. We made the effort and invested the funds to develop a sustainable business with minimal environmental impact, using reclaimed materials and energy efficient practices. In addition, we’ve designed many of our business practices and initiatives to help invest in and strengthen our local food system, including the some of the following efforts.
We work to reduce or eliminate food waste by purchasing B-grade or surplus produce from our farm partners, and by using as much of every ingredient as possible. When we have excess prepared food, we donate to Lovin’ Spoonfuls, where Irene sits on the culinary board — but because of our kitchen workflow, this thankfully doesn’t happen very often. Learn more about our philosophy around food waste at Mei’s blog, Food Waste Feast.
Nearly all our disposable products are compostable or recyclable materials, and we manage our waste stream very carefully at Mei Mei. We work with a local cooperative, CERO, which actually delivers our finished compost to local farms instead of just burning it or throwing it into an anaerobic digester. Following their advice, we moved away from CPLA, or corn plastics, which don’t always biodegrade as advertised, and don’t actually provide nutritive value to the resulting soil, so you’ll see more wooden and paper goods on our counter, as well as recyclable — not compostable — plastics.
One of the best things about what we do is getting to build relationships and plan projects with community farm organizations such as The Food Project, and the Urban Farm Institute We often buy uber-local produce from The Food Project’s neighborhood farm on the border of Roxbury and Dorchester and also donate profits from various events to support the organization.