DCSEU has always provided cutting edge programs that help bridge the gap for small businesses in the District of Columbia that want to do the right thing but may not be able to afford to do it. To businesses like Mess Hall, having a resource like the DCSEU is invaluable.
Al Goldberg founded Mess Hall in October 2014 to solve the need for more commercial kitchen space in the marketplace. There were and continue to be a lot of food entrepreneurs that cannot overcome the barriers of entry to opening a food business. By using their shared kitchen model along with other resources that they can help provide, Mess Hall has been able to launch and accelerate their business while helping many others do the same thing. ““We get excited when we’re presented with a really great new concept. I started Mess Hall to create opportunities for people to launch their dream businesses, so helping talented individuals bring their successful brands to life is always rewarding.” said Goldberg. Mess Hall is also very conscious about their energy consumption and their carbon footprint. Raising two children, Goldberg is always thinking about the future of the planet. “It’s our responsibility as a business to not only be conscientious of our footprint, but to also influence others to actively reduce energy consumption.” said Goldberg.” “Never should we neglect that each and every one of us has effect on the whole environment.” With a collective of approximately 50 businesses utilizing its space, Mess Hall understands the importance of being mindful of its energy footprint.
Goldberg has worked with the DCSEU on several projects since getting his start in 2014, including lighting upgrades and rebates on the purchase of efficient reach-in coolers. Having a large walk-in refrigeration space is an important piece of equipment for restaurants and shared kitchen spaces, and can make up as much as 60% of energy consumption for a business like Mess Hall. When the DCSEU reached out about its refrigeration campaign to help Goldberg upgrade the fan motors on Mess Hall’s walk-in refrigeration, Goldberg was interested but facing the same cash crunch that many small businesses have dealt with throughout the pandemic. The DCSEU’s special campaign offer to cover all materials costs, along with DCSEU Engineer Edward Friebe’s assistance with identifying the right equipment, helped convince him. Coupled with their recently installed solar PV system, they will be reducing their carbon footprint and reducing their energy costs for years to come. Mess Hall's fan motor updgrade will save them more than $275 in yearly electric costs and over $4,100 in electric costs over the 15 year life of the equipment. The efficient fan motor will also save over 2,355 kWh in electricity usage each year, which is a little more than a quarter of what a home will use in electricity in a year.