Small Business Owners

Big News from Seattle’s Original Organic Cafe

SEATTLE, WA – Entering our 15th year in business, the Chaco Canyon Organic Café is undergoing some notable and exciting changes in the upcoming year. To optimize our financials and better serve and day to day operations, we sold our University location last year to a separate ownership group, who has operated it admirably as a franchise over the past 10 months. In recent weeks, the ownership group has decided that they would like to terminate their relationship with Chaco Canyon
so they can debut a new independent café in the space. While we are saddened for the University community to lose their dedicated space for vegan and organic cuisine, we wish the owners luck in their new endeavor.

We are excited to focus on our two remaining locations, West Seattle and Greenwood, while concurrently searching for a new venue for our third location. When we opened our Greenwood store in 2014 we didn’t properly consider the effects of the proximity to University, and this caused a significant dilution of our customer base from Ballard, Crown Hill and Shoreline. In order to best serve the greatest number of people who crave homemade vegan cuisine, we have though for some time we would like to re-locate our third store to a far different neighborhood, and now we have the chance to do so. There are a number of communities that we think Chaco would be an ideal fit in, so please be on the lookout for your favorite vegan store in a neighborhood
near you!

Since our inception, Chaco Canyon Cafe has become a serious example of how conscious business practices can sustain the local community. The certified organic cafe strives to leave the smallest impact on the environment by keeping sustainability at the forefront of all sourcing and operational decisions. We have received numerous awards recognizing this commitment, including the 2013 Seattle Business Magazine Green 50, the 2014 Recycler of the Year from the WSRA, and most recently the 2017 Chinook Book Heart of Seattle Award – for which we are also a top-3 finalist this year.

We look forward to seeing you all at Chaco Greenwood and West Seattle as we continue to serve the Seattle community high-quality, nutrient-dense, homemade vegan food for years to come.

Thank you,

Chris Maykut (Founder and Partner), Mohamed Youseff (Owner and Partner)

Chaco CanyonBig News from Seattle’s Original Organic Cafe
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Things that Make Us Feel Warm and Fuzzy: Socks and Coffee

Spread the joy of hot coffee next time you’re in the cafe!

Join the nationwide movement started in 2013 that has changed the way we care about each other. Introducing: Suspended Coffee.

John M. Sweeney (founder & chief kindness officer, yes that’s his official title) re-introduced Suspended Coffee into cafes around the world in 2013. Based off old Naples tradition, the term “caffè sospeso” means “suspended” or pending coffee. With roots in working-class Naples, a person experiencing a stroke of good luck would purchase two coffees. The patron would then take one coffee with them and leave the extra for someone in need. This anonymous act of charity has grown into a international program.

At Chaco we love being a part of a something that brings us together. Suspended Coffee is an opportunity for us to promote kindness and strengthen our communities.
“It can provide physical comfort, conversation, a smile or even a laugh, and a sense of belonging. A suspended coffee can change lives, sometimes even save them.” Read more at or check out this video!


Chaco wants you to know that we can “suspend” any menu item! Just tell us at the counter when you order your meal.

Add a Hippie Bowl, or Avocad-O Smoothie to our donation cup and know that you took part in feeding someone.
So come on by and make a stranger’s day, donate something sweet and simple. We’ll make the coffee!

Box of Sox Now at Chaco Greenwood

Chaco Greenwood is proud to be a WeCount donation drop off zone. WeCount is a local organization connecting those in need with items that are essential, by asking neighbors to donate what they can. This is a great way to unite as a community and assist one another with acquiring some of the basics. WeCount takes donations of outdoor gear, personal hygiene products, home goods, and much more!

They even have an App!

You can use the app simply by having a text-enabled phone or email address. After creating an account, users can choose to seek help or donate.
Our Greenwood location has now adopted a box as a part of the Box of Sox Program. This drive is specifically geared to helping our community members that need help this upcoming winter season! We are accepting new or lightly used socks for donation. Sometimes the little things make a big difference. Help us keep our community warm and cozy this winter. Drop by and donate!
To find out more information about donating & how you can get involved in the cause visit
Help us fill our box FULL of sock!

Tis the Season
Courtney Denney
General Manager
Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe & Bakery, Greenwood

Chaco CanyonThings that Make Us Feel Warm and Fuzzy: Socks and Coffee
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Choose Chaco Canyon Cafe for Heart of Seattle Award

There are a LOT of awards and recognition out there for businesses. Especially for restaurants.

Some are good, like Seattle Weekly’s annual poll – Chaco just got second place to Café Flora for best Vegetarian. Other awards are just spread around with no real meaning or actual achievement necessary. Awards like those handed out by Yelp and Zagat.
But then there are unique awards and recognition that go beyond good food. We get really excited about these kinds of awards at Chaco Canyon.

Last month, I wrote about the honors we received from 2013 Green Washington Award and the 2014 Recycler of the Year Award.

Earlier this year, we received our first international recognition as one of the

Top 10 Eco-Eateries

by Green Market Movers in the U.K.

I’m proud to announce, we’re up for another great award. Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe has been selected as one of only 15 finalists for the Heart of Seattle Award! The total pool of nominations was over 500 local businesses and nonprofits, and we have made it through to the final round of voting. This is a great honor, and something that is made for Chaco Canyon!
The Heart of Seattle Award is the brainchild of the renowned Chinook Book. The focus of the award is, “designed to recognize Seattle retail and service businesses that set a high bar for what good business should be…local businesses with stellar social and environmental priorities, ethical business practices, happy employees, and loving customers.”


We knew we had to apply as soon as we were notified about the award and read what it was dedicated to honoring. Furthermore, we thought we had a good shot of being recognized. Chaco Canyon embodies these traits and were founded upon them.

Vote Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe for the heart of seattle award

Vote Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe



So, please CLICK HERE to VOTE!

This one literally takes 15 seconds. You don’t need to enter an email address or sign up for anything. In addition to Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe, there are some other great businesses to laud and vote for, including two of our great community partners: Bootyland and Seattle ReCreative.
Please consider supporting Chaco for this award, we would love to be highly considered for this great community award for all we do!


Chris Maykut
Proud Owner
Chaco Canyon Organic Cafes

Chaco CanyonChoose Chaco Canyon Cafe for Heart of Seattle Award
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Moving Beyond Green


In the days before I first opened Chaco Canyon in 2003, I found myself shopping for the last items we needed to be ready.

I came to the section with disposable utensils and paused for some time. This was in the dark ages before compostable was an option so we’re talking rigid plastic, single-use utensils.  I just couldn’t do it, and made a hurried trip to Goodwill to stock up on silverware to hand out to people until I could come up with a better idea.

A funny thing happened as we pondered a better plan: the ad-hoc one worked great for everyone.  Nine out of ten customers, when offered the option of a piece of silverware, said that they had a fork or spoon in the car or office, and they didn’t need anything.  Those that took them tended to come back and return their fork (great for retention), and most everyone understood that – while this was an admittedly weird system – they appreciated not feeling guilty for using a manufactured item from a far-flung country once and then tossing it into the waste stream.

Put this system side by side with the “normal” thing to do in the restaurant industry: putting a disposable fork, spoon and napkin (and knife and chopsticks….) in every bag, just to make sure everyone absolutely gets utensils.  Taking the time to ask everyone who gets something to go, and explaining that they can actually take utensils (or bamboo chopsticks) takes a lot more time and effort, but one of the main differentiators between a business that is “green” and one that has in its mission to have Zero Impact on the planet someday.

We’ve saved over a half million single-use utensils from production and disposal just by making this simple choice – that’s a good start.

Choosing not to have disposable utensils, and dozens of other ‘unusual’ behaviors and choices we make every day at Chaco Canyon, are what makes us unique and special.  It’s why we won the 2013 Green Washington Award and the 2014 Recycler of the Year Award for small businesses, as well as many other accolades and awards throughout the years.


The sustainability and zero impact ethos permeate the café, from myself to the staff, to our customers and out into the city.  One of our staff recently contacted me to let me know that, as part of a bridal planning committee, she was assigned to buy a bunch of one-time use Solo cups for the reception.   “The environmentalist in me cringed”, she stated, and then asked if Chaco could buy some re-usable cups for her to bring to the wedding, and then put them into use at the cafes afterwards as water cups.  Of course we can!  I love our staff.

Working for a sustainable planet has changed over the last 30 years.  Recycling and composting are no longer the hallmark of environmentalism; they are the base expectation to start from.  Thanks to smart local legislation around Styrofoam and plastic bags, Seattle is a true leader in the movement for a sustainable planet.  We as a community should keep pushing for more, better, and weirder solutions to loving our planet.  What are you doing in your house?


Chris Maykut
Proud Owner
Chaco Canyon Organic Cafes

Chaco CanyonMoving Beyond Green
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