November 06, 2008 // Franchising.com // - State College, PA –The Pita Pit located at 218 E. Calder Way in State College, PA became a Certified Green Restaurant™ on October 8, 2008. Following in the eco-friendly footsteps of their Philadelphia location, The State College Pita Pit achieved certification of green status upon the implementation of environmentally friendly practices in accordance with the Green Restaurant Association's rigorous guidelines.
As part of the initial certification phase, The State College Pita Pit is now Styrofoam-free and took additional steps in an effort to reduce its environmental footprint and increase sustainable practices including:
Aside from the steps above, The State College Pita Pit also plans to implement motion sensor lighting in the bathrooms, non-toxic all natural cleaning supplies, a local produce company to minimize fuel and consolidate orders to decrease deliveries as well as having their employees use personal mugs and silverware to minimize waste.
"The State College Pita Pit was awarded Certified Green Restaurant™ status in just under two months. We're thrilled with the changes they've made, and we are looking forward to helping them make new changes in the subsequent years," says Michael Oshman, executive director of the Green Restaurant Association. They will continue to meet the marks provided by the Green Restaurant Association by implementing four new environmental steps per year. The Green Restaurant Association assesses each restaurant's existing sustainable practices and then creates an individually-tailored plan to guide each establishment to become a Certified Green Restaurant™.
"Our Philadelphia location became a Certified Green Restaurant™ and not only were we very well received, but we realized how easy it was to do," stated Adam Palmer, co-owner of The State College Pita Pit. "In the restaurant business there are so many little things we can do to help our environment and we're extremely committed to making a positive change. With the help of the GRA, we hope to spread our message not only to other restaurants, but throughout all of State College to create a more sustainable and healthier environment."
The Pita Pit was founded on the idea that people want an exciting alternative to fast food restaurants. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner and provide a casual and fun atmosphere. Their motto is "fresh thinking, healthy eating." Franchising began in Canada in 1997 and the US in 1999. There are currently 169 Pita Pit locations in 39 states.
Franchisees Adam Green, 27 and Adam Palmer, 27 decided that they were both in need of career changes and in May 2004, opened up a Pita Pit in State College, PA, where they both attended school. After a successful two years in business, they were generating close to one million dollars per year in revenue and decided it was time to expand to a larger market.
In July of 2006, they opened The Philadelphia Pita Pit located at 1601 in Sansom Street in Center City. People immediately took to this new healthier way of eating and the new location quickly became a favorite lunch spot for many diners. In an effort to further the 'Fresh Thinking, Healthy Eating' motto, Palmer and Green made the important decision to transform The Pita Pit into Philadelphia's very first Certified Green Restaurant™. State College was not too far behind. They hope that their important commitment to the environment will transfer to other businesses in Pennsylvania.
The Green Restaurant AssociationTM (GRA), a national non-profit organization, helps the restaurant industry improve its environmental practices through research, environmental consulting, education, and certification. Founded in 1990, long before green was cool, the GRA utilizes a collaborative strategy that involves restaurants, manufacturers, vendors, grassroots organizations, government, media, and restaurant customers. The GRA's model provides a convenient way for all sectors of the restaurant industry, which represents 10% of the U.S. economy, to become more environmentally sustainable. The GRA has the world's largest database of environmental solutions for the restaurant industry and has been featured on various media, such as CNN, NY Times, NBC Nightly News, NPR, Washington Post, and more.