Buy Local profile: Christine Bower

Co-owner, The Wooden Monkey, 1707 Grafton Street, 444-3844

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Here’s a perfect example of how The Wooden Monkey tries to offer something unique to its customers while managing its costs: the hunt for non-dairy cheese to put on the vegan nachos. “We did find it,” explains co-owner Christine Bower. “But we can only buy it in little, tiny packages!”

Bower says that when you buy in bulk from a wholesaler you save money, but the food the Monkey serves doesn’t always come wholesale. “We try to manage it with portion sizes and minimize the waste,” she says. “Not to over-prep. And make sure we don’t overstock and end up throwing out food.”

The Wooden Monkey’s strong commitment to serve local and organic dishes to its customers, both vegetarian and carnivore, means that besides sourcing local, the regular struggle is in controlling the prices of what it serves. And there are plenty of other expenses in operating an independent business, beyond what makes The Wooden Monkey unique in the market: increasing wages and liquor costs, et cetera.

All this said, The Wooden Monkey is doing OK, thanks very much, for which Bower passes on gratitude to her customers. “We really appreciate the people that are coming in the door. We just want to employ people and make a living in the local economy.” 

And on the local, economic news front, the multiple Best of Food award-winning eatery is also the process of negotiating a lease for a second location in Bedford. 

“It’s smaller,” says Bower “We want to have the ability to do more take-out. A lot of people are looking for that.”

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