Philosophy & Values

Our philosophy is simple, do the right thing all of the time to the best of our ability. 

Environmentally Conscious

Our tagline pretty much says it, “One Planet, Many Perks.”  Part of the tagline, “One planet” refers to the fact that we only have one planet, so we better take care of it.  The other part, "many perks”, refers to the many incredible things about our planet, our country, and our community that make life so precious and wonderful.  

In simpler terms, the boss’ dad always used to say, “Leave a place better than you found it.”  This is what drives us to reduce the environmental impact of the café.  Below is a listing of some of our efforts.

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Carbon Footprint Reduction
Our energy savings programs save enough energy to run 10 Oshkosh homes every year.  

  1. 50/50 – 50% of everything we buy and sell comes from within 50 miles of the shop.  Food that travels shorter distances produces lower carbon.
  2. No deep vat fryer or other high energy use appliances.
  3. Limited use of large kitchen appliances.
  4. Conversion of appliances to Energy Star rated devices.
  5. We use lower wattage LED light bulbs to reduce electricity consumption.
  6. We ensure our delivery vans are fuel efficient by performing tire inflation checks, tune-ups, not running the air-conditioning and limiting trips.
  7. In the warmer months we use bicycles to make deliveries whenever we can.


Paper Products

Planet Perk recycling and post-consumer paper programs saves an estimated 85,000 pounds of paper per year.  

  1. Planet Perk uses recycled paper products for all of its office supplies and printed materials.
  2. Our “Read & Return” magazines/newspapers save 50,000 pounds of paper every year.
  3. Our napkins and bathroom-paper towels are made from 100% post consumer material.
  4. Our paper cups, coffee cup sleeves, and many other products are made from post consumer material and all of them are 100% compostable.


Plastics
The use of corn starch and other products are 100% compostable and prevents 28,000 pounds of plastic entering our land-fills every year.  

  1. Planet Perk uses “To-Go” forks, knives, and spoons made from corn starch.
  2. Our clear plastic cups are made from corn starch as well as the lids.
  3. Our paper cups do not contain ANY plastic lining material.
  4. "To-Go" bags, lunch containers and other items are made corn starch or post consumer paper.


Water Consumption
Planet Perk efforts to reduce water consumption saves 420.000 gallons of water per year.

  1. Planet Perk filters most of its water to make sure you have a healthy experience when dining at Planet Perk.
  2. We also use “low-flow” water devices in our kitchen.


Recycling & Composting
Planet Perk recycles everything it can that is not 100% compostable.

  1. We recycle all of our print cartridges and re-fill them with organic inks.
  2. We offer our clients bags of used coffee grounds for their gardens.
  3. We also supply grounds and other compostables to local food co-ops.  


Responsible Ranching and Farming
Planet Perk supports responsible and sustainable farming/ranching practices by looking for foods that come from either organic farms or free-range ranches.  Although our selection of these items is limited, we are open to any and all suggestions on where we can get more responsible food products.


We Buy Local
Most restaurant items travel up to 1,800 miles before reaching your plate.  We have a 50/50 Program that ensures that 50% of everything we buy and sell comes from within 50 miles and the other 50% come from within 500 miles.   In addition, we buy our produce from local growers and farmer's markets when possible.


Healthy Food

The café endeavors to serve slow, natural, organic, healthy non-processed foods that make people feel good.  In fact, Planet Perk Café has been certified as a Smart Plate restaurant by the Winnebago County Health Department  https://www.co.winnebago.wi.us/health

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Organic Products
Planet Perk is constantly searching for low-priced organic products to sell in our shop or use in our food preparation.  Most of our teas and coffees are certified organic.  Many other beverages are certified as natural (a designation just shy of organic).  Approximately 60% of our beverage and food items are natural or organic and we want to grow that number.

Healthy Food
As part of our organic and natural foods focus we try to offer a healthy menu to our customers.  No fried or processed foods here.  In addition, we limit beef items, limit salt in our prepared foods, and we try to offer as many low-fat and vegetarian items as possible.  We also offer many alternatives to sugar in our food and drinks.  Sweetener derived from Stevia plants is yet another attempt to offer our client a low-calorie and natural alternative to sugar.  


Socially Responsible

Being socially responsible is about treating people and communities fairly.  We make every effort to adopt practices that meet the goal of treating others how we would like to be treated.  It is also about giving back and supporting people and the community.

Fair and Direct Trade
Planet Perk buys coffees & teas that are either Direct-Trade or Fair-Trade.  These programs ensure that local growers in third-world countries receive the highest fair market value for their products.  This helps to lift many farming families and communities out of poverty.  It encourages these farmers to avoid growing poppy, coca plants and other plants use to create things that poison our society.

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Supporting Causes
Planet Perk is a proud supporter of the Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Center, Oshkosh YMCA, EAA Youth Programs, and Habitat for Humanity and many other local charities.  Last year, Planet Perk sponsored 9 youth sports teams, made sure that 50 children received free educational flights through EAA Young Eagles annually, and we donate nearly 1 ton of goods to local charities and pantries with the help of our customers per year.

Planet Perk also works with many venders who make major contributions to endangered wildlife programs, third world medical outreach, and environmental sustainability programs.

A favorite category of our charitable efforts are targeted towards veterans.  Planet Perk is a proud sponsor of the Disabled American Veterans, Wounded Warrior Project, and several other veteran groups.  In fact, 100% of our proceeds from the Oshkosh Saturday Farmers Market go to these charities.  Monday is also free-coffee day for all veterans. 

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Welcome and Safe Environment
We pride ourselves on serving all people.  Regardless of your race, creed, religion, sexual orientation or political beliefs you are welcome at Planet Perk Café with open arms.

We believe the greatest strength of our country is the diversity of its people and our ability to accept one another as Americans.  Call it corny, old fashioned or whatever else you want, we just prefer to think of it as being human.

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Pay-It-Forward
Sometimes a person is having a bad day, or are down on their luck, or you just want to send a message of gratitude to a friend.  That is the reason for the “Pay-It-Forward board at Planet Perk Café.  

The idea is simple, you can buy a coffee, espresso drink, smoothie, salad, sandwich or soup.  Then, we write up on a sticky-note and post it to the board.  Pay-It-Forward notes going to a specific person go on the PERSONAL side of the board, while others intended to show kindness to a stranger go on the the ANONYMOUS side of the board.

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