Jennie Sheinbach, owner of Pattycake, joins a growing number of people in the restaurant industry using compostable containers.

Healthy bodies have always been the goal of Jennie Sheinbach.

Now she has a new objective - a healthy environment.

The owner of Pattycake Bakery, 3009 N. High St., has purchased a new line of enviro-friendly packaging for her cookies and whoopie pies. The 100-percent compostable bags are made locally by Atlapac and the printing is done by Weisenbach Specialty Printing, another central Ohio purveyor.

"From the beginning we wanted to do it. So it's been kind of a long time coming," said Sheinbach, whose vegan bakery opened in 2005 in Clintonville.

The bags are made from plant-based cellulose, rather than petroleum-based polyethylene plastic, and are completely biodegradable and compostable at home. The labels are printed with soy-based ink on 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper.

Graphic artist Lisa McLymont, owner of Very Ideal Design + Development, designed Pattycake's labels. She said they were fortunate to find a local printer with soy-based ink but there was another issue: glue, which generally is made from cow or horse bones, an issue for vegans, who use no animal products.

A little research found a powdered glue that was friendly to the environment, she said.

"It's my interest to do more and more of this," said McLymont, of Clintonville. "It is a larger issue. I think more and more designers are trying to take responsibility for what they're producing - and they should."

Pattycake is working on securing green packaging for its muffins and cupcakes, Sheinbach said.

The new wrapping has added cost to the product. A dozen cookies recently went from $20 to $24. Sheinbach said she thinks customers will understand.

"It's significant, but we were undercharging ourselves," she said. "We raised the prices, but we felt like we really needed to bring our packaging in line with our values and our community."

Joe Heller, vice president of sales for Atlapac, said the bags are made of a cellophane derived from paper pulp, which breaks down in compost piles. The trick, he said, is to actually build a compost pile - or find someone who has one.

"Otherwise it just ends up in a landfill," Heller said.

The company also sells a certified biodegradable bag, but it's more expensive and difficult for small shops such as Pattycake to buy in bulk, Heller said.

While there's a growing interest in biodegradable packaging, it makes up only a small percentage of Atlapac's total sales, he said.

"It's only got certain applications, a certain number of things it can be used for," he said.

Another Chinese buffet has taken over the storefront at 7661 Farmsbury Drive in Reynoldsburg.

NG Grille & Buffet now occupies the 6,000-square-foot storefront, formerly home to the Dynasty Grill & Buffet.
Owner Chandra Ng said that in addition to traditional buffet items, there also are a hibachi grill and sushi bar, where fresh orders will be prepared on request. An a la carte Chinese menu also is available, Ng said.

It's open lunch and dinner hours daily. For more information, call 614-575-0444.

Crazy Chicken has opened at 3322 Morse Road. Its specialty, obviously, is chicken, which comes in a variety of formats: fried, grilled, barbecued or seasoned with a special spice compound, said Jacob Kaileh, a manager at the store. Also look for ribs, brisket, subs and a slew of sides - mac 'n' cheese, mashed potatoes, baked beans, potato salad and such.
It is open lunch and dinner hours daily. For more information, call 614-337-2920.