Solar restaurants and bakeries

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Last edited: 10 May 2021      

Solar restaurants and bakeries have been established in various parts of the world as income-producing enterprises. Not only do they provide clean culinary options to communities, they also as they offer unique business advantages such as reduced overhead due to not requiring expensive cooking fuel. Below you will find examples of small, medium, and large-scale solar restaurants and bakeries in regions around the world. For information on opening a solar restaurant or bakery, visit the business development page for resources on this topic.

Events

  • Webinar: Sunday, 4 July 2021, 13:30 - 15:30 GMT: CONSOLFOOD - Baking bread in your solar cooker - Videos have been collected, and those selected will be compiled in a YouTube playlist for ease of presentation during the webinar. If you would like to attend this meeting please register by 2 July at the latest. Send an email to cruivo@uaig.pt mentioning your name, country, email address, and phone number. You will receive a link to access the platform by email.

News

  • May 2021: Solar cooking smoker - Patricia McArdle recently interviewed the head chef, Joshua Murry, at the Conrad Hotel in Washington D.C., USA. He explained the hotel wished to take greater advantage of the roof deck to be able to serve meals to guests. However the space has limited electrical access, and Joshua drew upon his experimentation with solar cooking as a young man. He has found a way using a 'smoke gun' to inject smoke into the cooking chamber of an All American Sun Oven for the first 45 minutes of cooking a large pork roast. Then the chamber is completely sealed, and the meat cooks for another couple hours, resulting in the smoke flavored roast he desired.
Cooking with the Sun at the Conrad Hotel in Washington, D.C.-2
Head Chef Joshua Murray at the Conrad Hotel in Washington, D.C. has discovered a way to turn a solar box cooker into a meat smoker Video credit: Pat McArdle Cooking with the Sun at the Conrad Hotel in Washington, D.C.-2
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The production location of La sazón del Sol-Solar SuperFoods in Tlacochahuaya, Oaxaca, Mexico
  • December 2020: Solar baked foods - La sazón del Sol-Solar SuperFoods, located in Oaxaca, Mexico, has a mission to make solar energy an integral part of the local daily life through food, economy and health. In this training center dedicated to women, passion is created for solar cooking. From the construction of an oven-dehydrator to cooking, pasteurization and solar conservation. As a way to strengthen the autonomy and social ties in the community with providing solar baked and dried products. More information... - (English version)
Restaurant Solaire Le Présage
This video (with subtitles) shows Pierre-Andre Aubert running his mobile solar restaurant, using a Scheffler reflector, and describing his plans for Le Presage. Restaurant Solaire Le Présage
  • April 2020:  Pierre-Andre Aubert, solar chef, is setting up a solar restaurant - Le Presage - in Marseilles, France. He is collaborating with the local university to sponsor a PhD in restaurant-scale solar cooking, heat retention, and passive solar heating. If you have an interest in solar cooking, a degree in mechanical engineering (and preferably some French), you might want to apply. More information...
  • November 2019: Community bakeryGoSol.org reports that one of their solar array cookers, first put into use in 2017 in the Kisumu area, in Kenya is still in use. It was later transferred to Friends of Ndere, a very active baking community, which already had a GoSol concentrator. In spite of this being one an early pilot unit, they are still using this unit to bake bread. Below is a video in Swahili showing the concentrator in action. More information...
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Friends of Ndere-0
  • April 2017: Solar bakery employs eight people and produces 500 loaves a day - With funding from the Energy and Environment Partnership of Southern & East Africa (EEP S&EA), R20 and its local partner implemented a solar bakery project in Gitega. The results to date are: 1) A solar bakery with the capacity to produce up to 500 loaves of bread per day; 2) Employment for eight local women A bakery business plan; and 3) A draft Integrated Climate Plan for Gitega City. More information...
  • January 2017: Solar Cookers International (SCI) connected five organizations with solar cooker restaurant experience at its 6th SCI World Conference 2017. Said Rocio Maldonado: "Pierre's experience with a solar cooker restaurant in France will be very useful to us in Bolivia." Representatives from several countries expect to create guidelines for starting solar cooking restaurants, which they will share with international partners.
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Chef, Ghislaine Milliet of the Le Présage restaurant
  • November 2015: An experimental solar restaurant in Aubagene, France - The restaurant, "Le Présage", was open from 3 November to 3 December 2016. It was organized and operated by chef, Ghislaine Milliet. The restaurant was open to the public as weather permitted. They used a Scheffler reflector as one of its cooking sources. A little more information is available at: "Le Présage" in Aubagne
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  • April 2016: Vietnam Solar Serve writes: A man from France came to visit us in Danang. He runs a restaurant in Vung Tau, a popular seaside resort in the south of Vietnam. He knew all about solar cookers and other environmentally friendly devices. He was very excited and wanted to buy several devices for his restaurant (three solar box cookers, two parabolic cookers and three clean cookstoves). He also ordered two solar lamps. For us it was interesting that after several years someone requested our box cookers again. Because of the sunny weather in the south they could be an attraction for tourists eating in his restaurant. Read more in Solar Serve News #47.
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Imani Women's Group
  • November 2015: Members of the Imani Women's Group in Msumarini, Kenya bake cupcakes and larger cakes using only a wooden box and the sun. They earn enough money to help support their families and send their children to school. On a sunny day they produce up to 150 cupcakes, which they sell for 10 shillings (0.10 US$), and 30 cakes that go for 200 shillings (2.00 $US). Kenya, which straddles the equator, receives (according to the Kenyan Ministry of Energy) an average of 4.5 kWh per square meter per day. Read more...
  • December 2014: In an article for National Geographic, Chef José Andrés writes about his pop-up restaurant, Sunny Day, which he opened at the Life is Beatufiul event in Las Vegas, NV. Sunny Day used solar cookers to cook their signature dish, vegetarian tacos, during the day and clean-burning ethanol in the evening. Read article...
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José Andrés at a pop-up restaurant
  • October 2014: José Andrés debuts Sunny Day pop-up restaurant at Life is Beautiful festival - At the Life is Beautiful festival in Las Vegas, NV, José Andrés debuted Sunny Day, his new solar-powered pop-up restaurant. His goal for the new pop-up restaurant is to educate Americans about clean cooking around the world. Interview with José Andrés.
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Regions 20 initiates second phase of solar bakery project in Burundi
  • March 2014: R20 initiates second phase of solar bakery project in Burundi - The second phase of the project began with a stakeholder consultation workshop where 32 participants (women bakers, local officials) gathered to discuss the potential benefits of having a solar bakery as well as concerns they may have. The workshop was a success, and the women bakers expressed their gratefulness to R20 and CIRID for helping to start this project that will reduce the amount of smoke they inhale as much less wood will be needed to bake. The solar bakery project will provide a solar-powered oven to a small bakery in Gitega, Burundi, that employs women that have been marginalized by their communities. More information...
  • January 2014: International aid organization seeks solar cookers for bakery in Burundi - The global relief organization R20-Regions of Climate Action has organized a solar bakery project in Rutegama, Burundi. Currently the bakery, in operation since 2006, has relied on wood-fired ovens, with the wood needing to be gathered by the women working at the bakery. They are soliciting proposals from tenders interested in providing three institutional solar ovens required to convert the bakery to solar. The ovens must be limited to three meters(a little under 10 ft.) in height, and if carried, weighing no more than 10 kg (22 lbs.). Unfortunately, proposals need to be submitted by January 31, 2014. Interested parties will find more information here: Invitation to Tender For Solar Bakery Project, Burundi. The scale of the project may be rather small, but the funding and implementation is coming from world leaders in the field of economic and environmental relief.
  • December 2012: In the hot and dry village of Villaseca in central Chile, the sun's rays are hard at work here at Delicias del Sol restaurant, cooking up delectable dishes in the eatery's 20 solar ovens. The ovens were originally introduced to the village as a trial project from the University of Chile and the Institute for Nutrition and Food Technology. Delicias del Sol, which started out with a 16 person capacity, now seats 120. The future looks bright for Delicias del Sol. Read more...

Examples by regions

Africa

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The SOS Children's Village in Mamelodi, South Africa has a community-scaled solar box oven to serve as a bakery, funded by the Embassy of Switzerland. The new solar oven meets their own needs as well as generates a surplus of baked goods to be sold, providing an income for the institution. On a good day it takes the bakery about 40 minutes to bake 80 loaves of bread.
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Vendors cooking fish with the sun on the beach south of Casablanca, Morocco
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Since June 2005 the Bethel Business and Community Development Centre in Lesotho has used this parabolic trough cooker to bake 24-40 loaves a day. Even though the dough is kneaded by hand, an income double that of the minimum wage has been achieved.
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This example shows a small bakery in the North of Namibia. The small-scale bakery is able to bake up to 100 loaves of bread a day or about 300 little fish-tin rolls. For more info, contact Rolf Behringer.
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U.S-based True Vineyard Ministries provides sustainable opportunities for widows and children impacted by genocide, subsequent conflicts, and HIV/AIDS in Rwanda. Its “Bake the Cycle” project is helping to break the cycle of poverty by providing solar bakery jobs to 10 widowed women supporting families in Ruhengeri. The bakery provides a variety of breads to local businesses and families. The women use a commercial-sized Villager Sun Oven® that reaches temperatures in excess of 250 °C (482 °F) and can bake hundreds of loaves of bread each day. “For the first time in the widows’ lives, they are able to consistently provide food, clothing, shelter, and education for their families.”
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Camily and Gaudenziah Wedende have started the Seeing is Believing Cafe in Eldoret, Kenya. They are cooking cakes, tea, and other solar-cooked goodies, and selling them in front of their Sun Cookers International business. Tanya Cothran, Director of Spirit in Action, writes about their cafe on the Spirit in Action's blog.
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Sri Lankan restaurant owner promotes eco-friendly cooking - Down south on the beach in Induruwa, Sri Lanka, chef Nelson Wimalasooriya, demonstrates how he can prepare his dinner late in the day without firewood or other fuels, except for the day's remaining energy from the sun. He uses a parabolic solar cooker originally designed by Dieter Seifert.
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Tending the solar oven for the Imani Women's Group in Msumarini, Kenya. In 2014, the group began a bakery business as part of an initiative by German development group, Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung, to boost women entrepreneurs within the village. Photo credit: Thomson Reuters Foundation
Solar Bakery Burkina Faso
ISOMET operates a solar bakery that produces 1500 loaves a bread per day in Burkina Faso. Solar Bakery Burkina Faso
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Solar Project Gambia writes: "The best examples of success is the bakery and the restaurant. They really make solar food popular. The bakery sets an example of how it is possible to generate an income with Solar baking."
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The solar restaurant at the Hajjat Zam Hotel in Kampala, Uganda - Photo credit: Kawesa Mukasa. The solar restaurant at the Hajjat Zam Hotel located in Kampala, Uganda, is operated by Kawesa Mukasa of the Solar Connect Association.
SOL5 Technology - Solar Energy for SMEs
Friends of Ndere, a very active baking community, operates bakery in Kenya. SOL5 Technology - Solar Energy for SMEs

Asia

Solar Cooking "Grilling becomes thrilling" -Panasonic ecoideasnet
"Kai Yang Palang Saeng Arthit" 6632-428250 This restaurant uses a solar heating system made of 1,000 hand-mirrors to cook chicken nicely in 14 minutes. Located in Cha Um, a three hour drive from Bangkok, Thailand. More information... Solar Cooking "Grilling becomes thrilling" -Panasonic ecoideasnet

Caribbean

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Chef Inti Langaney cooks vegetables with a parabolic solar cooker at the El Romero eco-restaurant in Pinar del Rio, Cuba.

Europe

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GloboSol has a solar creperie built on a trailer that can be towed to large events. The solar creperie is run by ExSol and active members of GloboSol
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The Solar Kitchen Restaurant travels through Europe in the summer.
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Food is prepared with parabolic solar cookers at the seasonal Sun Bridge restaurant in Poznan, Poland.
Le Presage Aubagne
Le restaurant solaire Le Présage
http://restaurantlepresage.fr, https://www.facebook.com/pg/RestaurantLePresage Le Presage Aubagne
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Food is prepared with parabolic solar cookers at the Lo’13’to restaurant in Geneva, Switzerland
Les Festins Photoniques à la TV,
Les Festins Photoniques à la TV, dans l'émission "C'est en France" de FRANCE 24 sur la cuisine responsable soucieuse de l'environnement, avec le chef Pierre-André Aubert de Le présage Les Festins Photoniques à la TV,
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French artisans have created the a solar bakery in Normandy, France called NeoLoco. They use a solar array concentrator oven to roast local seeds and bake bread.

India

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In India a Sol-Café was built for a 100-children residential school in village Kothara in the Kutch district. The area is arid and severely short of fuel wood. It has on the other hand, abundance of sun. Commissioned in June 2003, it has been in regular use since. Since that time Sol-Cafés have been built in seven other villages.
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Auroville Solar Kitchen, near Puducherry in South India.

Latin America

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The Delicias del Sol in Villaseca,Chile uses a dozen or so box cookers and a few parabolic cookers to prepare food for their patrons. The restaurant is operated by the Association of Solar Artisans of Villaseca.
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Solar power gives Andean villages a new lease on life - Reuters (Also a Reuters video shows an EcoAndina project in the village of Misa Rumi in Argentina where everything is powered by the sun. Pictured above is the town bakery where 5 kg of bread are cooked every hour.)
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Solar Global Gourmet is a restaurant franchise for a business utilizing solar radiation for cooking food. Solar Gourmet is a new brand dedicated to promote and give glamor to solar cooking which represents a system of ecological friendly and healthy food preparation at gourmet levels.
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Solar Women of Totogalpa using their solar box cookers to produce baked goods for sale in Nicaragua
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The Solar Women of Totogalpa operate a solar restaurant in the small village of Sabana Grande, where they offer solar cooked foods, solar dried fruits and coffee.
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The Taqueria Poncho, solar street vendor cart is the first of its kind in Oaxaca, Mexico.
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Chef Inti Langaney cooks with a parabolic solar cooker at the El Romero vegetarian eco-restaurant in Pinar del Rio, Cuba.
Cocinas Solares en San Pedro de Atacama Chile.-
Solar cooking at Restaurant Ayllu in San Pedro de Atacama, Chile. Cocinas Solares en San Pedro de Atacama Chile.-
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Nicolau Bussolotti Francine of Pleno Sol, a solar bakery located in Piracicaba, São Paulo, Brazil.
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The Kiosco SOLAR solar powered street food carts are operating in several cities in northern Argentina.
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The production location of La sazón del Sol-Solar SuperFoods in Tlacochahuaya, Oaxaca, Mexico, which provides local healthy foods

North America

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Bjorn Qorn is a solar food producer in the Hudson Valley region of New York, USA, making sun-popped popcorn for sale locally and on the Internet.
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Solar Roast Coffee uses a 7 m2 concentrator called Helios 3 that can roast 2.5 kg of coffee grains in 22 minutes. Using Helios 3, instead of a gas fired conventional roaster, about 2 tons of CO2 emissions are prevented. The company started selling their exclusivly organic, fair trade, solar roasted coffees in 2004 and opened its first Cafe in Pueblo, Colorado, USA in February 2007.
Cooking with the Sun at the Conrad Hotel in Washington, D.C.-2
Head Chef Joshua Murray at the Conrad Hotel in Washington, D.C., USA, has discovered a way to turn a solar box cooker into a meat smoker Video credit: Pat McArdle Cooking with the Sun at the Conrad Hotel in Washington, D.C.-2

Articles on individual solar restaurants

Audio and video

  • January 2020:
Stromboli Solar Baked 29 January 2020
For more info see Bethel Business and Community Development Centre Stromboli Solar Baked 29 January 2020
  • January 2017:
Pierre-André Aubert - Testing Phase of the First Solar Restaurant of France
Pierre-André Aubert - Testing Phase of the First Solar Restaurant of France
  • July 2015:
Hallquist Micro solar oven factory and bakery
Creating a Model for a Micro-Solar Oven Factory and Off-Grid Bakery Hallquist Micro solar oven factory and bakery

Articles in the media

Documents

See also

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