Emma Boyers (right) serves a freshly made salad to customer Jasmine Brown at the Commons Marketplace.

Emma Boyers (right) serves a freshly made salad to customer Jasmine Brown at the Commons Marketplace.

Commons 'Salads by Design' captures national award

It’s proven popular on campus, and now Salads by Design at the Commons Marketplace will be awarded a “Best in the Business” Award by the National Association of College and University Food Service (NACUFS). The service, which began last fall, offers an array of mixed salads made individually for each customer.

On April 3, NACUFS announced the results of its seventh annual “Best in the Business” Campus C-Store (convenience store) Contest. The competition recognizes leadership in product mix, marketing, layout and design, food-service applications and customer-service innovations. BGSU won for excellence in food-service application—“setting the standard for collegiate convenience-store excellence,” according to NACUFS. The award will be presented at the national NACUFS conference in July in Milwaukee.

Judging of the entries in five categories was conducted by students, convenience-store managers, members of the press and representatives from PepsiCo, the contest sponsor.

“It is a great privilege to be recognized by our peers and industry leaders. We are thankful that our hard work and determination has been recognized and honored,” said Daria Blachowski-Dreyer, associate director of University Dining Services.

An individual approach
In keeping with the Commons Marketplace focus on healthy and organic foods—“a different vibe for a convenience store,” Blachowski-Dreyer said—Salads by Design offers a variety of special salads, from Asian to Italian, made fresh for each customer and completely customizable. Tastes and textures from ingredients such as mixed greens, edamame, cheeses and fruits combine to create an interesting, satisfying eating experience. Multigrain baguettes are available to round out the meal.

“Display cooking is really huge in the food industry now,” Blachowski-Dreyer said. “Students like to know how their food is going together, and they like to have a say in what goes into it. The staff likes it, too. It’s been a huge draw.”

Another reason for the success of the service is that, even though the salads are individually made, they are still handy for people who are on the run and on the way to somewhere, she said.

The recipes for the salads and dressings were developed last summer by Marissa Sargent, University Dining Services chef.

April 20, 2009