Zia Taqueria was recognized Wednesday for its environmentally friendly efforts, winning the 2013 Green Business Leadership Award. Here’s what you should know about Zia and the award.
Who owns Zia Taqueria?
Tim Turner is Zia’s principal owner. Turner, 48, moved to Durango in 2001 to become a partner in Bread, the popular bakery on East Animas Road (County Road 250). Seeing an opportunity to start his own business, he opened Zia on May 5, 2005, at 3101 Main Ave. It was joined in April 2013 by a second location at 400 South Camino del Rio.
Before moving to Durango, Turner was one of three founding partners of Carberry’s, a bakery and coffee shop in Cambridge, Mass.
Why did Zia win?
Zia was honored for a number of environmentally friendly measures. The restaurants serve local food from providers such as Twin Buttes Gardens, Mountain Roots Produce, Adobe Milling, East Pines Ranch and Sunnyside Meats. Turner has purchased two greenhouses for local growers – the growers repay him by selling produce to Zia at a discount.
All of Zia’s kitchen scraps are made into chicken feed at local farms.
Zia installed a 10-kilowatt photovoltaic solar panel system on the south location last summer and will expand it this summer.
The north location has a solar water-heating system.
Turner also has plans to build a cold-storage facility in Mancos to allow locally grown produce to be offered during more of the year.
Perhaps most unusually, Turner buys two or three bicycles a year for employees to take to work.
Since founding Zia, Turner has purchased about 25 bikes for his employees.
What are the criteria?
Nominees are evaluated on their leadership in green energy and water, transportation, pollution and waste, manufacturing and purchasing and other contributions to the community.
The selection committee consists of past winners dating to 2002 and Kent Ford, a San Juan Citizens Alliance volunteer. The award is given by the Green Business Roundtable, a project that was started by the San Juan Citizens Alliance. The city of Durango, La Plata Electric Association and a number of businesses sponsor the award.
Who were the other finalists?
Durango Natural Foods Co-op and Earthly Ideas.
The grocery cooperative at 575 East Eighth Ave. stocks a selection of local and regional produce and other products such as greeting cards and coffee. DNF upgraded its freezer lighting to LEDs, saving nearly 7,000 kilowatt-hours a year. All DNF bags and other merchandise use recycled or organic materials wherever possible.
Earthly Ideas is a green-building consulting firm owned by Michelle Reott. The company helped develop guidelines for the development of Three Springs in Durango, and consulted with Fort Lewis College on obtaining LEED certification for Animas Hall and other campus buildings.