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Community Climate Heroes: Katonah Reading Room

To celebrate November (Gratitude Month), we are excited to launch our new Community Climate Hero series. We will continue a monthly feature of local businesses, schools, organizations, and individuals making a difference in our community. Please join us in supporting these Community Climate Heroes and their dedication to making the world a better place!

Bedford 2030 recently had the pleasure of interviewing the owner of the Katonah Reading Room Market & Cafe, Gretchen Menzies. The Reading Room is a bookstore/coffee shop conveniently located next to the Katonah Metro North Station, offering gourmet take out, ice cream, candy, books, gifts and art supplies.

Menzies has a personal desire to create lower her own impact on local and global pollution, and The Reading Room has made great strides in incorporating sustainable practices into their business model. They have reduced waste by offering discounts to customers who bring reusable cups, by offering only paper bags (replacing plastic alternatives), and offering as many products in metal, glass or compostable containers as possible. They also created a garden which supports habitats for diverse wildlife species, offer vegan menu items, and offer locally-made products with minimal plastic.

The Reading Room shifted operations as well, converting to water-saving plumbing, recycling kitchen oil, donating surplus food to the community center, and supporting local organizations working toward the greater good.


While running a sustainable business is extremely important for our planet and local communities, it definitely has its challenges. Menzies acknowledged that the higher costs of eco-friendly goods can make them difficult to afford as a small business owner. Consumers also need to adopt behavior change to use reusables instead of single-use products. If you agree that these changes are important, please share your support buy shopping local and making these small changes in your own daily practice.

We commend The Katonah Reading Room for understanding the true value of climate-friendly practices, even when they are difficult to implement, and are greatful to have them in our community!