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PILLLAR Forum Cafe

Business Description
Corey Bracken, owner of local climate positive skateboard company PILLLAR, opened the PILLLAR Forum Café in Northeast Minneapolis to create a space for the skateboard community. In addition to offering beverages and pastries, PILLLAR Forum Café provides a small gallery space for local artists and hosts local bands on occasion.

Before MNimize

  • Single-use poly-lined paper cups for coffee to go
  • Received roasted beans in plastic bags
  • Received pastries in single-use paperboard box

As sustainability is core to PILLLAR’s brand, Corey sought to integrate waste reduction and energy conservation into the culture and operations of the PILLLAR Forum Café when it opened in spring 2022. The café already offered reusable mugs for onsite consumption, and was interested in a reusable to-go option especially as supply chain issues were making it more difficult to find inexpensive options for compostable cups. When Corey met the MNimize team in March 2022, this dream became a reality!

Plastic Reduction Actions Implemented

PILLLAR Forum Café implemented a reusable to-go mug program through which customers can “check out” a stainless steel tumbler which they can return for a clean, new tumbler with each use. Start-up costs for this program, including a new commercial dishwasher and the reusable tumblers, were covered by a Hennepin County Waste Prevention Grant. While the initial intention of this program is to support 30% of PILLLAR’s to-go business, eventually Corey hopes to see the majority of his customers involved in their reusable program.

Additionally, PILLLAR worked with their coffee bean roaster and pastry provider to set up reusable containers for their deliveries.


  • 14,400 plastic lined paper cups reduced annually
  • 365 single-use paperboard boxes reduced annually
  • $649.21 Annual Cost Savings

“PILLLAR Skateboards was founded on the idea that all businesses, no matter the size, can take steps in reducing waste and negative impacts on the environment. This was relatively simple to do running a skateboard company because the waste was minimal, mostly packaging and materials. However, when PILLLAR opened Forum Cafe, we quickly realized that there are many new challenges in running a coffee shop as it pertains to the amount of waste we produce. Food waste, to-go containers, packaging, it seems to be never-ending. That’s why we are so excited to partner up with MNimize. It has allowed us to take a step back, understand where we are producing most of our waste and take steps in reducing and, in some cases, eliminating all together. ”

-Corey Bracken, Owner

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