Building the Community: Trolley Car Diner and Café champion sustainable business models

Weinstein won first place in PHS's City Garden Contest l Photo by Ken Weinstein Trolley Car Diner and Trolley Car Café have long-been great places to grab a milkshake and burger, but owner Ken Weinstein is doing more than satisfying the local sweet tooth. Both his diner and café are proudly serving up sustainability programming as well.

“We focus on community outreach and programming at the diner,” says Weinstein, “while at the café we focus on sustainability and healthy options.”

The café recently won first place under the Restaurant Garden category in Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s City Gardens Contest. The garden is used for educational and practical purposes, providing ingredients for dishes and giving kids an opportunity to learn more about plants and herbs. The café regularly hosts a do-it-yourself pizza event for kids to make their own pizza with ingredients from the garden.

Not to be outdone, the diner has picked up on a growing trend: electric vehicles. Weinstein has partnered with U-Go Station to install one of the first electric vehicle charging stations in Philadelphia. Now his diners can charge up while chowing down.

Weinstein also starts his own nonprofit organization Trolley Car Helping Hands, which donates 15 percent of diner and café sales to local organizations. He also establishes Mt.Airy/Chestnut Hill Teacher’s Fund that gives out $ 10,000 annually to local public school teachers. To Weinstein, Trolley Car is .

“With each effort, we become more than a restaurant that serves good food with friendly services,” says Weinstein. “We are a community builder.”

To see a full list of winners for the City Gardens Contest, visit here.