A’viands takes over the Brickstone

ETHAN COSTELLO  |  coste012@rangers.uwp.edu

It’s the start of a new school year, and many students and faculty have already noticed the changes being made in the cafeteria and other on-campus markets. This is because every seven years, the food service company’s contract expires and is open for bids from any interested companies. A’viands, the new food service company, had a more agreeable offer for the university, so they have replaced Sodexo.

Change in the Company

Katrina Sturino, a staff member who has recently been promoted to management, now oversees the various food sites. Sturino states that the biggest changes since the transition can be seen in the new vendors, a new executive chef, and the hiring of an on-site dietician.

A’viands has a new vendor which supplies them with their products. Sturino explains that some of the products they sold last year are no longer available through their new vendor. With this vendor, there are minimal price changes. Due to what A’viands is paying for their products, there are slight price increase or decreases on the food; however, overall the scales even out.

Jeff Willis, the new executive chef, is adjusting to his new position. Willis stated:

“Menu structuring is completely different from your fine dining atmosphere. Think of it like a whole new menu everyday. The sheer amount of stuff we go through at this particular location is about 1,100 pounds of produce a day.”

Before coming to UW-Parkside, Willis worked in fine dining for 15 years before moving to corporate, high-volume family dining. His last job was at Buca di Beppo located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Fresh ideas

With Willis’ new position, he also has some new ideas to bring to our dinner tables. One of his ideas is the chilaca bar, which gets its name from the black chilaca pepper. The bar is essentially a make-your-own burrito bar, akin to well-loved restaurant Chipotle. The chilaca bar will include various ingredients to make your own burritos and tacos.

Another fresh idea Willis has is a hot dog bar, allowing students to create variations of the All-American food such as chili cheese or Chicago style dogs.

However don’t fear, residents of Parkside, Cafe Creations is here to stay! Though you may be seeing some new options on the cafeteria floor, your favorite food options aren’t going anywhere.

Customer satisfaction is A’viands prime concern. To make that happen, their aim is to keep the food options interesting and fresh.

Fresh products

Willis says that they are moving towards all-fresh produce and meats. That isn’t all A’viands is doing to cater to their customers.

With the hiring of a campus dietician, they will make sure that there will be a meal option for people with special diets for lunch and dinner everyday. A’viands has begun offering gluten-free bread for those with gluten allergies. At multiple stations, there will also be vegetarian options.

The beginning of the school year may have been confusing for some students in regards to the cafeteria with the new soda machines and other alterations, but don’t be discouraged. With the hiring of a campus dietician and the unique ideas from the new executive chef, your cafe experience is sure to be tasteful.

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