Sodexo Live! and Rum Room at Miami Beach Convention Center Further Sustainability Efforts With Launch of Herb and Vegetable Garden

April 11, 2023

Leading venue hospitality partner Sodexo Live! is continuing its sustainability journey with a new Earth-friendly initiative at the soon-to-open Rum Room restaurant and Venu event space at the Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC). Organized in partnership with Compost for Life Miami, the Sustainability Project – Herb & Vegetable Garden was recently unveiled as part of a larger sustainability initiative aimed at reducing the environmental impact of the MBCC campus.

Consisting of 192 square feet of herb and vegetable beds just outside of Rum Room and Venu, the new garden features organic soil mixed with compost from the MBCC’s composting program, which takes leftover organics from conventions and events held at the facility and turns them into compost. This compost is then used at the garden, creating a sustainable food system that not only reduces waste but also provides a real garden-to-table dining experience for Rum Room patrons. 

“We’re committed to reducing our environmental impact, and this project is a perfect example of how we can make a difference,” said Danny Medina, regional vice president, Sodexo Live! “By composting appropriate leftovers from events at the convention center, we’re creating a closed-loop system that benefits the garden and ultimately provides our guests the freshest ingredients in a way that is least harmful to the environment.”

He added, “We’re thrilled to partner with Compost for Life Miami on this project and look forward to continuing to develop our sustainability efforts.”

According to MBCC officials, vegetables currently growing in the garden include carrots, lettuce, onions, tomatoes and peppers, which are expected to be in full harvest by late July or early August. The vegetables will be used on the Rum Room and Venu menus for guests to enjoy, and foliage will be added to table garnishes and decorations. 

Constructed by Rum Room and Venu Executive Chef Samantha Cruz and the Sodexo Live! team in February, the Herb & Vegetable Garden was also created with the goal of creating a calm environment for the cooks and team to tend to and nurture, while also educating the staff on gardening and sustainable practices. 

MBCC Herb & Vegetable Garden

The garden’s construction involved sourcing wood pallets from food shipments and recycling them into the garden structure. The entire process took approximately 10 days, including clearing, leveling and building the garden from plywood, followed by the installation of solar-powered lights on the wooden fence surrounding the space.

Jointly managed and operated by Sodexo Live! and leading full-service venue management company OVG360, Venu is an elegant 3,300-square-foot event space ideal for intimate gatherings of up to 100 people, including upscale meetings and events, while the adjacent Rum Room is an indoor and outdoor 80-seat restaurant with Old World and tropical 1920s Florida decor and an upscale menu that draws on both Florida’s history and Miami’s Haitian and Latin and Central American influences. To learn more, go here.

According to Sodexo Live! officials, the LEED Silver-certified MBCC is committed to supporting sustainability and climate change actions as part of its corporate social responsibility program, as well as resiliency initiatives in the City of Miami Beach and Miami-Dade County, by incorporating environmentally friendly building features and sustainable business practices for all the meetings, trade shows, events, conferences and conventions it hosts. To learn more about the MBCC’s sustainability practices, go here.

Recently reimagined following a $620-million-dollar renovation, the expanded MBCC includes a new 60,000 sq. ft. Grand Ballroom, four junior ballrooms, almost 500,000 sq. ft. of exhibition space, an expanded Grand Lobby, pre-function areas bathed in natural light, up to 84 breakout rooms, approximately 800 roof deck parking spaces, almost 2,100 miles of cabling to support all IT communications, $7.1 million worth of art curated by the City of Miami Beach Art in Public Places program and a six-acre (Pride Park) and three-acre (Collins Canal Park) public green spaces that can serve as incremental event space. 


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