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The Ox and Crow Coffeehouse, formerly known as the Coffee Cottage, is a welcoming coffee shop in the heart of Mahtomedi.


When the Ox and Crow first opened in May 2017, the Styrofoam cups that used to be the primary cup material for customers staying and going were swiftly upgraded to paper cups. But it was important to Mara to go a step further. In a world that is constantly on the go, she “wanted a coffee house that provides real cups”. 

Mara heard about the BizRecycling grant through a White Bear Lake cable TV ad and soon discovered that she could utilize grant funding for the reusable mugs that she had always envisioned for her shop. She also hoped to start single-stream recycling at the coffeehouse.

How We Helped

After applying and getting approved for the BizRecycling grant, the Ox and Crow Coffeehouse received color coded bins, reusable mugs, plates, silverware, and a commercial dishwasher. Mara has trained her staff to ask every customer if they can serve their coffee in a real ceramic mug and estimates that now, most of their customers stay to enjoy their warm drinks in a reusable mug. The goal is to provide disposable paper cups, silverware and to-go containers only for people taking their items out of the shop.

With the influx of customers taking advantage of the ‘real’ mugs, they needed the dishwasher more than ever to keep up with the immense quantity of dishes they now generate. The dishwasher from the grant has provided them more efficient service and ability to accommodate more customers.


After implementing these trash reducing strategies, the Ox and Crow was able to reduce trash pick-up from 6 carts per week to just 2 carts per week. There are now 3 recycling bins picked up each week. From these changes, the Ox and Crow has seen their trash bill cut almost in half.

Annually recycling 14,300 lbs. with an estimated annual savings of $1,200. Mara said “The BizRecycling grant is a program that I am so grateful for!  The process was simple and the folks working the program made the application process so simple!”

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