New Cafe Plans

Lynnsey Taylor, Writer

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Last semester, the staff of our cafeteria came together to brainstorm ideas for the current school year. Production manager, Curtis Harris, and our registered dietitian, Beth Mack, have hopes of students having a more diverse selection when it comes to choosing their meals.

The Cafe runs on a yearly budget of $14,000 which can be a challenge for any food business, especially a college campus, explains production manager Curtis Harris. Harris has over 20 years of Foodservice experience. Working on a limited budget can be difficult and Harris says that “we have to focus on always having the essentials, like bread and milk, I hope students realize that we try and do the best we can with what we’ve got.” Harris explains that he wants to start serving vegetables separate instead of mixed in a medley. He noticed that students tend to pick through the mixed vegetables in order to get their favorite, so why not separate them? Harris recently decided that our vegetables should not be boiled, but instead steamed or sautéed as this is a healthier way to prepare them.

Harris has big ideas for this year and cannot contain his excitement. “We want to start including a cultural dish once a week. I think having a station of dishes that students aren’t familiar with will be pretty neat,” Harris explains.

Harris isn’t the only one who is looking forward to next year. Catawba welcomed a registered dietician to the faculty last year, Beth Mack. Mack joins the team after having worked for Dining Services at UNC Charlotte for the past three and a half years. She is very passionate about helping others learn about nutrition and guiding them to achieve a healthy and balanced
lifestyle. From food allergies to weight loss, she is here to help navigate the dining facilities and encourage students to take advantage of the wide variety of dining options Catawba has to offer.

Mack is eager for a fresh start to this school year. “This year, I would like to incorporate more interactive and creative action stations that provide students with unique foodie experiences focusing a little on different food trends and cultural dishes,” she explained. As a dietitian, Mack is always encouraging more fruits and vegetables. One of the things the cafeteria implemented towards the end of last semester was having yogurt and fresh fruit available all day by the desserts and adding a vegetable option next to the daily pasta offering. This year, Mack says she wants to focus a little more on increasing our whole grain offerings and some more vegetarian options.

When you visit the cafeteria this year, I’m sure you will be very pleased that there are more nutritious options in the works that are healthier and more satisfying than before!

Lynnsey Taylor
Where Hungry Minds Gather

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New Cafe Plans