I’m approaching another year older (hopefully wiser) and was taken out to a surprise location for dinner by my partner. She did her research and found a great place near us that represents what I envision life in a steady state economy to be like: focused more on the local economy, a greater sense of community, and more time to enjoy living our lives with less of an impact on the environment.
Sutra is a vegetarian restaurant in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle, nestled amongst the many former-homes-turned-businesses along 45th street. A beautiful, intimate space awaits up to 35 guests for a dinner seating serving four community-style courses. Seasonal food from Forged and Found Edibles, Full Circle Farm, and other local food suppliers are masterfully combined into delicious meals.
The proud owner-operators Amber and Colin greeted us when we entered and were immediately enchanted by our son, Liam. We chatted with them, and others joining in on the community-style dinner, over some great Washington wine and started to dive into the four courses prepared by Colin. They told us about their beautiful daughter, their yoga studio that is moving in next door and how they will soon have their home, restaurant, and yoga studio all in neighboring lots.
Local Community, Local Economy
Their business model is simply, well thought out and sustainable. They’re expanding their yoga studio into the next-door space that once housed a real estate company that was in the now-bust condo market. As a model of life in a steady state economy, the local economy itself has not grown by their expansion – the corrupt, failing real estate company is simply replaced with more sustainable business. While their business is growing, another one shrank and the overall economy can remain steady.
The Sutra restaurant and yoga studio are rooted in the community, providing a venue for local, seasonal food, as well as a welcoming environment for people to gather. The experience is an amazing example of the type of life we strive for and why the steady state economy would be more fulfilling than the growth economy that encourages fast, nearly inedible food experiences devoid of community.
The dining experience was a great surprise for my birthday celebration and we will certainly be back again to share some of my homemade mead (honeywine) over another dinner soon! Unaware of where we we’re going I didn’t think bring my camera – next time!