By Emily Margeson
For 50 years, the CPS Café has been taking local produce and meat and creating healthy homemade foods available on campus.
Located on the first floor of the CPS, the café is open to the public and serves around 300 people daily. Employees consist mostly of dietetics students, allowing them to gain experience in food service operation and management.
“The goal is to provide homemade healthful food from local farms and to manage production in an environmentally friendly manner,” said Kim
Beckham, the café’s director and chef instrucor. Students may be required to work in the café for a lab course, but there are many others who work there solely because they enjoy it.
“Everything is prepared by students,” Beckham said. “Everything you can think of is made from scratch; mayonnaise, ketchup, curry paste, everything.”
There are many popular items available at the CPS Café, but there are a few that are known best sellers.
“The most popular item is our power bar that is gluten free, vegan, and made from scratch,” said Beckham. “Spinach baked ziti is another that tops the list.”
Students and faculty are known to take a break between classes and get a bite to eat.
“I like to think the food I’m eating is healthy and the portions aren’t too big so I don’t feel like I’m overeating,” said philosophy professor David Frost.
Since the café is stocked with organic and local foods, it is a common assumption across campus that the prices are high, but that is not the case.
“Everything is under $5,” Beckham said. “You can get a sandwich and soup for around $4.50.”
The CPS Café is always thinking of new ways to bring exciting foods to campus.
“Our next promotion is breakfast sandwiches. We hope to have enough offerings to have a big breakfast crowd,” Beckham said.
Breakfast is not the only new feature the café will be presenting. There is potential for a name change as well.
“A marketing firm is doing a study on how beneficial it would be to have the name changed to represent more of what the café offers,” Beckham said.
This fall, CPS Café’s third cookbook, “Into the Garden,” will be released. The cookbook will feature healthy meals that can be created from garden produce. Previous cookbooks have featured soups and baked goods.