Hand-tossed pizzas will bake in the brick oven while a chef sautés the special of the day and a Starbucks barista froths a latte. Beginning on April 22, the café in the Albert Sherman Center will open with a fresh menu of culinary offerings for the campus.
Sodexo, a leading institutional food service company, will manage the café in the ASC and also take over UMMS food services at the Lazare Research Building, the Medical School lobby, Biotech Two and Century Drive.
“We were impressed with Sodexo’s focus on healthy food options and the use of fresh local ingredients,” said Bill Tsaknopoulos, director of auxiliary services at UMMS, who oversees the food service operations. “We think the campus community will enjoy the new service.”
Sodexo, which already operates the cafeteria at South Street in Shrewsbury, will also offer catering services for the UMMS community.
“We’ll make everything fresh, on-site,” said Adam Hicks, Sodexo’s area executive chef. “Take the pizza for instance. We’ll be making the dough right here and hand-toss the crust for each pizza. And we’re not opening a can of sauce—we’ll be crushing tomatoes, seasoning and simmering our own homemade sauce in the kitchen here.”
The café in the ASC will be the school’s primary full-service dining facility for the Worcester campus, open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. In addition to brick oven pizza, a chef’s station and a full service Starbucks, the ASC café will feature a salad bar, a sandwich bar and several daily hot food offerings.
Sodexo’s operations in the LRB, Biotech Two, Century Drive and the Medical School lobby will be smaller, kiosk style cafes, open from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday. They will feature self-service items such as prepared sandwiches and salads, soups, beverages, fruits, yogurt parfaits and other “grab and go” offerings, Hicks said.
Daily menus for all UMMS locations will be available online at http://www.umassmed.catertrax.com/. Using that same web page, people can explore the catering options available from Sodexo and place orders directly online.
“Every day there will be fresh, healthy options for our customers to choose from,” said Don Bundren, Sodexo’s general manager for the UMMS food service.
In addition to providing printed nutrition facts for many of their daily offerings, Sodexo also partners with a popular weight loss and nutrition smart phone app. Nearly every food item at the UMMS cafes will have a barcode that links with the nutrition app, so patrons can use their smart phones to track their meals. Sodexo also plans to work with the on-campus student group WooFood.
Bundren said Sodexo will also continue to compost the food waste from the campus kitchens, sending the scraps to a local pig farmer as has been the practice on campus for several years. The cafes will also stress recycling. “We understand and support the Medical School’s commitment to sustainability,” Bundren said. “We know that our main café is in a LEED Gold building and we will honor that standard in the way we do business.”
Sodexo will have an informational table at this year’s Earth Day Celebration, also scheduled for April 22, in the Medical School lobby. Visitors can learn more about Sodexo’s nutrition and wellness programs and enter a raffle to win a new bicycle.
Food services in the hospital’s cafeteria, the Remillard Pavilion and the Ambulatory Care Center remain unchanged.