Photos by Diego Saldana.
Ailys Toledo/Staff Writer
Fresh Food Company reopened Friday, Aug. 23 in time for move-in day, and welcomed customers into its renovated restaurant after a complete shutdown over the summer.
This is the first time Fresh Food received a total renovation since 2004.
Fresh Food is the main dining facility on Modesto Maidique Campus, accommodating housing students – who are required to purchase a meal plan if they live in buildings without kitchens like Panther Hall and Lakeview dorms – to commuter students that need a place to eat in-between classes.
“Normally, this kind of project would take at least six months,” said Jeff Krablin, assistant vice president of business services. “But this place has to be open throughout the year, so there really is no good time to renovate the main dining facility on-campus. That’s why [it was cut into] two phases.”
Changes to the restaurant commenced at the end of the spring 2013 semester and continued up to the first day students moved into housing. The project was divided into two phases: phase one, which was completed last summer, that moved and expanded the entrance to Fresh Food; phase two renovated the inside of the facility to accommodate more diners.
According to Felecia Townsend, director of business services, the total cost of expenditures for both phases was approximately $3.5 million. The budget allowed for a revamp of the interior and dining menu.
“We’ve added new stations, equipment and menu items,” said Roger Clegg, resident district manager. “We design our menu for a large and diverse student population, including vegan and gluten-free diets.”
In a previous interview with Student Media, students expressed a negative attitude towards the restaurant.
“When I was a freshman, people didn’t really like the food because it was fattening and greasy,” said Shekinah Harper, a senior journalism major.
Since the reopening, students have changed their opinions in a more positive light.
“It looks fresh, it looks nice,” said Fabian Mahecha, a sophomore finance major. “There’s a lot of new food. I like the pizza and the sandwich station is really good.”
Brittany Davis, a senior education major both work at Fresh Food, said she can see also see a change in the attitude of chefs and staff members.
“It’s really different… different is good,” said Davis. “There is more to offer and the food tastes so much better. You can tell the chefs are happy and are excited about the change.”
For Christian Sanchez, a freshman computer science major who had never been to the previous Fresh Food, said his first dining experience at the restaurant was a good one.
“It’s a good balance of food and there’s a lot to try,” said Sanchez. “I’d want to bring some friends here and try it with them.”
Students can access the buffet-style restaurant for $8.88.