Fast and affordable, and now fresh and customizable, the new café at Owings Mills North is revolutionizing dining services at Stevenson University.
The new café opened on Sept. 20, and has become a new staple in the Stevenson diet. The new dining area offers freshly cooked options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as a self-serve area for students to make their own plates. All ordered items are customizable, giving students the option to make meals as simple or extravagant as they like and to cater to dietary preferences. Daily specials and a number of food stations, including vegetarian, deli, hometown, salad bar and sushi, add extra variation.
“We want to provide the students with an alternate dining experience…to utilize the café as their own,” said John ‘Luke’ Lukeivic, general manager of Sodexo Dining Services at Stevenson University. He and his fellow operations manager and chef, Marc Chabot, both championed the idea of students coming forward about what they wanted to see at the café, from dietary needs to requests for their favorite meals. “Bring recipes,” Chabot said. “Mom’s meatloaf? Bring me your recipe, and I’ll give it a shot!”
Students certainly have been utilizing this new service. Greeted with celebratory instrumental music on its opening day, students saw for the first time the sizzling grills and smiling staff who had been hard at work for so many months getting the café ready. Students found the food not only delicious, but very convenient.
“Café North is the only convenient lunch area for me because I spend all day in the Manning Center as a nursing student,” said sophomore Caitlin Knight. She also spoke about her delight at the variety of healthy options provided, the café now being an integral part of Stevenson University’s move toward encouraging a healthier lifestyle for its students.
“We try to mix it up so it’s not just greasy and fatty things on the line. It’s more healthy,” Lukeivic said, naming a number of healthy options, including the salad bar, vegetarian and regular sushi, gluten-free and whole-wheat bread and wraps at the deli, and turkey and vegetarian burgers at the grill. And Lukeivic claims that’s not all. In the future, he hopes to have pop-up events and perhaps expand the café even further.
Meal plans, cash, and SU One dollars are all accepted at the café, and the staff is working to address any issues to make sure that whatever students want, they get. The café was created to be something special to assist students with a broad selection of affordable dining options at a convenient location. Most importantly, Lukeivic and Chabot were enthusiastic about receiving feedback from the students for any little improvements they can make.
“Ideas come from everywhere,” Lukeivic said, and he welcomes students to come forward with their input that will ultimately be discussed at monthly meetings with the dining staff.
“If we’re getting better every day, everyone’s doing their jobs,” Lukeivic said.
Have a suggestion for the café? Feel free to talk to any manager at any of Stevenson University’s dining locations, or leave a message on the Sodexo customer service page at http://stevenson.sodexomyway.com.