DEJAXO Cafe and their sustainable solutions

DEJAXO Cafe and their sustainable solutions

Dejaxo is a family-run artisan bakery run by husband and wife team, Damein and Kate Nabbs. This week I met with their lovely venue manager Jesika to discuss all the amazing sustainable solutions that Damein and the team have implemented across their four venues. 

This interview aims to inspire change in other venues so they can implement sustainable solutions that have a real impact on our environment. 

Donut Waste (DW): What sustainable solutions have you implemented in your venues? 

Dejaxo: We try to make all new initiatives sustainable. We have only plastic bags for sliced bread, but looking at custom paper bags to replace these. Unfortunately, this process has been going for a while as we can’t take a full shipping container to bring the pricing back. 

In our café, we offer our take-home meals in Enamel trays with a fully refundable deposit of $10 per tray. We sell Gelato, Granola, Yoghurt in glass jars which we offer a refund system on for re-use. Our milk is sold in reusable glass bottles which can be refilled or swapped depending on customers preferences. 

All coffee cups are biodegradable and we recently switched to biodegradable lids too. Our coffee comes in reusable tins from a specialty coffee roaster Five Senses

We also re-sell reusable coffee cups from Frank green and reusable takeaway tubs with built-in containers from Retub.

In our production, we reuse all plastic buckets that come in with ingredients. We also try to choose a supplier that delivers goods in cardboard or paper instead of plastic.

DEJAXO Cafe – CDS bin in a view

Sustainable solutions sum up

  • Enamel trays t/a with a deposit of $10
  • Milk in glass bottles – refills and swaps available
  • Gelato, Granola, Yogurt in glass jars – swaps available
  • Signs to support reusables
  • Resale of reusables such as Frank green and Retub
  • Choosing suppliers who deliver in cardboard instead of plastic
  • Coffee beans in reusable tins from Five Senses
  • A Containers for Change bin available to customers
Reusable coffee cups from Frank Green & takeaway tubs from Retub

DW: Why did you decide to make your own milk? 

Dejaxo: Our milk supplier was becoming unreliable and the opportunity came with matching the equipment for gelato and milk to make the transition possible. Once we started the process it became about removing plastic milk bottles from the system. 

If you take a moment to think about the number of milk bottles our company would use without this system, that’s 900 bottles per week. Now multiply that over a year and put them in my kids’ school playground –  that’s 46,800 plastic bottles! 

These would leave no room for the kids to play. And plastic is permanent waiting for all future generations to be dealt with. It’s just not good enough that we don’t try and fix that situation. 

So this is our way of trying to make a difference. In the scheme of things, it’s not much but every change helps bring a new change.

In the near future, we will be also offering our own almond milk in reusable glass bottles. 

Milk in reusable glass bottles

DW: What’s your opinion on the upcoming WA single-use plastic ban?

Dejaxo: Brilliant and should be extended soon as we find new solutions.

A sign encouraging customers to avoid single-use packaging.

DW: What compelled you to seek and implement sustainable changes? 

Dejaxo: Once we started down the path of sustainability options every choice has become about making better choices. In the end, they all work with each other. Hopefully, this will result in a big impact over time.

Delicious gelato in reusable jars that customers can swap.

DW: How did your customers react to your sustainable switches? 

Dejaxo: The milk bottle return/reuse system is extremely successful with on average 80-85% of our retail milk sales in a refill and 20-15% is swaps and new purchases. 

The enamel trays are lagging at only 10-15% of family meal sales but that’s much better than the traction we so far achieved with Retub.

DW: What other solutions are you looking to implement? 

Dejaxo: We have recently decided to make our own almond milk and purchased a commercial juicer. So stay tuned for this one!

We’ve been also looking into diverting other types of waste like organics including coffee grounds due to the recent changes in waste services introduced by our local council. 

DW: How did Covid affect your operations? (E.g. do you still offer contactless pour?)

Dejaxo: We stayed business as usual and always took peoples’ personal coffee cups, just asked them to keep the lids.

Cafe view with milk tank
Cafe counter view with a milk tank on the left

DW: Do you find it difficult to source staff in today’s environment? 

Dejaxo: It’s the most difficult part of the business right now, peoples expectations are so hard to meet. We are lucky to have a dedicated team of long-term staff that has been with us through the pandemic and all. 

DW: What’s next for Dejaxo and their teams? 

Dejaxo: We are opening in Swanbourne very soon, just commencing the fit-out now. You can follow us on Social media to keep up with our progress and new sustainable solutions. Dejaxo Insta & Facebook accounts. 

What’s in a name?

Btw. in case you didn’t know…
The Dejaxo name is derived from the first two letters of Demien and Kate’s children – Detroit and Jagger. They added a ‘xo’ as a nod to the love poured into every loaf.

Hospo collaboration within Perth

If you are a Cafe that would like to learn more about any of these solutions or perhaps team up on buying things like paper bags in bulk, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at hello@donutwaste.com.au

We’re here to facilitate and bring about sustainable change.

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