From The Athens News
With energy provided by solar, wood and geothermal, Village Bakery and the Della Zona Pizzeria may be the "greenest" place in Athens. A geothermal system is the latest step toward environmental progress at the two adjacent buildings.
Text from December 2014 issue of ACEnet newsletter
Work has been completed on the new Geothermal system installed to handle Village Bakery's heating and cooling needs. Last summer, Village Bakery owner Christine Hughes, with the assistance of ACEnet and Appalachian Transition Fellow Carol Davey, applied for Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) grant funding to offset the costs of the project.
The Village Bakery received an award of nearly $10,000 and construction of the project completed in the fall by Airclaws heating and cooling. The geothermal system is the latest step in the bakery's history of striving for environmental responsibility. In a note written by Bob and Christine reflecting on nearly 13 years of business, they state, "Our commitment to bringing you the freshest, most delicious sustainably grown ingredients has never waned. Our menu will always reflect what's in season in Southeast Ohio, so you will taste a connection to the farms around us no matter when you visit. As demand for good, clean, and fair food increases, our ability to find new sources to meet our need also grows."
In addition to a commitment to local, environmentally raised food ingredients, the business as also made a series of updates to reduce their energy usage. Energy for the business is provided by solar, wood, geothermal energy, and wind and the owners are determined to be free of dependency on fossil fuels. To reach this point they have worked with four local businesses; Third Sun Solar for the installation of solar panels, Airclaws for the geothermal installation, Fox Natural Builders for the wood-fired oven and sustainable building, and Pear (wind) Energy.
Congratulations Village Bakery, on the REAP award as well as for setting an excellent example for sustainable small business! Many thanks to the Ohio Rural Development office and to Director Tony Logan and is ever helpful staff.