With a background in organic wine distribution and training at the world’s best hospitality management school, you know The Nine is bringing its A-game to sustainable dining in one of Sydney’s trendiest suburbs. This sustainable café in Sydney has fast become a favourite amongst Bondi locals, focusing on providing food and beverages that minimally impact the surrounding environment. Sitting down with Julie Brument, one half of the team at The Nine, our Sydney volunteer Alysha Byrne delved into the ethos behind this sustainable haven.
Where it all started
Before establishing The Nine, Julie ran a wine importation business in Shanghai, importing organic and biodynamic wines from her home country of France. With her extensive business experience and Sebastien’s training in hospitality, The Nine seemed to be the most logical next step for this young partnership.
Growing up in France, Julie strives to live by the ethos that one should respect the land and know the provenance of the produce consumed. She wanted to create a business where sustainability was at the forefront, and the locality and seasonality of produce dictated the way we eat. Thus, The Nine was born.
What do they do sustainably?
Everything from the gin to the candles at The Nine has been chosen due to their sustainable origins. Not only is the produce at The Nine organic, Julie and Sebastien have selected the entire wine and spirits menu from local and organic producers to ensure their menu leaves the smallest environmental impact possible. The used bottles are then sent to Etico in Bondi who reuse the glass to make drinking glasses for The Nine. Even their ceramic ware is sustainable – being sourced from a local ceramicist who specialises in natural clay to create one of a kind pieces for the café.
The Nine also has a strict no-waste policy, with Julie and Sebastien focusing on training their staff to reuse and recycle everything possible. This includes a staff lunch each day comprising of offcuts from the menu, and participating in Give A Fork to challenge diners to reduce food waste.
Julie understands that not every business can afford to fully integrate sustainable practices into their business model and encourages ‘baby steps’ towards sustainability. Although The Nine has successfully adopt these practices, the team cites the availability of produce to be the most limiting factor in this type of business. Ultimately, the team has still managed to produce a stunning menu that changes due to seasonal availability, preserving the café’s focus on sustainable consumption.
Engaging with the local community
The Nine continually collaborates with local businesses and producers to minimise its environmental impact. This includes sourcing as much local produce as possible and supporting local businesses such as Fresh in Bondi and the Organic Tea Project to keep small businesses in Bondi growing. The team also partners with local businesses to host pop-up dinners in the café space, such as their recent Natural Wine Tasting event in collaboration with Andrew Guard Wine Imports. Julie emphasises the importance of showcasing local producers and businesses that are contributing to the sustainability movement and supporting one another.
Image credit: The Nine