University News

New cafe offers healthy grub

By
Staff Writer
Monday, April 16, 2012

Inside the upscale lobby of the new fitness and aquatics center lies the newest campus eatery – Poppy’s Cafe. 

A small room with light yellow walls encloses the cafe, which has a similar feel to the Friedman Cafe in the Sciences Library – all items are grab-and-go.

Administrative Dietician Gina Guiducci was part of the group that created the menu for Poppy’s, which is based on four sports-related concepts: recharge, replenish, rebuild and rejoice. Brown Dining Services met with the athletics department while creating the menu to receive input, Guiducci said. 

“The menu has items based around three times: pre-activity, during (the workout) and post-workout,” she said. 

Recharge food items will be rich in carbohydrates, replenish items will mostly be fluids, rebuild foods will be rich in protein and rejoice foods are snack items, according to an online document about the menu on the Dining Services website.

“This will be something different from other units,” Guiducci said.

Healthier items include salads, oatmeal, granola, fruit and smoothies. Some items offered at Poppy’s, such as Chobani yogurts, bagels, Naked Juices and freshly baked muffins, are also found at other campus eateries.

The target customer was thought of as “a diverse population that includes athletes, gym-goers, visitors and staff who work in proximate campus locations,” wrote Ann Hoffman, director of administration for Dining Services, in an email to The Herald.

Poppy’s will be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the weekends. Customers will be able to pay with Flex Points, cash and Bear Bucks, and the lobby will have wifi  access.

Since there is no comparable eatery on campus, it is difficult to project expected traffic, Hoffman wrote, but she expects “the Poppy’s concept to be well-received.”

“I think it’s great that they’re focusing on healthy foods,” said Elizabeth Garcia ’15. “But I think that it will only be helpful to those who want to be healthy, since there are still unhealthy foods at Jo’s and the Gate.”

While Dining Services did not turn to student responses when creating the menu concepts, they were informed of student opinions through an event organized by the Undergraduate Council of Students.

During UCS Week, Campus Life Chair Michael Schneider ’13 organized an event where students were offered samples of items being considered for Poppy’s and “were asked to take a survey and tell us what they thought were their most favorite and least favorite foods,” he said.

The event had a large turnout, and UCS found that the most popular item was aloe vera juice, which will be served at Poppy’s. UCS then gave Dining Services the results of the survey.

“It’s nice to know that Dining Services has concrete evidence of what students like and don’t like,” Schneider said.

Poppy’s will be staffed full-time by Antonia Monteiro, a 10-year employee of Dining Services, who will be leaving her semester-long post at the Blue Room. BuDS student workers will serve as the other staff, Hoffman wrote.