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Cascadia’s new location brings healthy options, good prices

Posted January 10th, 2012 by UHDS News

As Cascadia settles into new location, design, students can buy produce at lower price

Vinay Bikkina | THE DAILY BAROMETER

[The Daily Barometer, Jan. 10, 2012] — Whether living on campus and using the dining centers or in an off-campus apartment making food for themselves, it is assumed college students don’t know the first thing about cooking.

Sheila Ulfers, part of the team at Cascadia Market on campus, experienced the issue first hand. “While I was in college, I did not know how to cook. So when I graduated, it was like ‘OK, what kind of foods do I want to cook?’ To me it was obvious: the healthy alternative. I just learned how to cook with healthy foods. It became a part of my life.”

That is exactly the idea she brought to Cascadia when she was hired last summer. Prior to working at Oregon State University, Ulfersworked at the First Alternative Food Co-op in Corvallis and was a general manager for the two stores they have. She brought all of the information she gained there to Cascadia and has helped expand it into what it is now.

Last year, Cascadia was located next to Arnold Dining Center and was only about half the size it is now.

“When we were going to do the remodel, I had my staff look at our history, and took the last 200 top items [that we sold], and we bought about 25 of them,” said George Coulter, food and beverge area manager at Arnold Dining.

But they still didn’t know how this year was going to work with the larger store. “We didn’t have the international cliental. We didn’t have the amount of people on this side of campus. We got Sheila hired about a week before we opened.”

For this coming term, Coulter said what they carry now will be based on what they’ve learned over the course of fall term. As well as all of the information that Ulters brought.

“What I noticed at First Alternative is that our customer mix kept getting older. A good way to start it is at the college level. So they get a sense that there is an alternative source out there,” Ulfers said. “Learning how to cook: That’s something our culture is getting used to.”

Ulfers’s main goal is to find “products that have more potential for long-term sustainability than the short-term, buy-it-now, sort of junk. I’m looking to see if I can upgrade the ingredients to sell.”

Cascadia carries fair trade chocolate candies, nut blend candies, as well as wheat- and gluten-free products. Just walking into the store, there are many obvious choices that are not available most other places. “Hopefully next summer I can bring in some more local produce,” Ulfers said.

Another one of the big things Cascadia offers that other places on campus don’t is produce. There is a large selection coming from various sources.

“Sources have been Oak Creek Farms, an organic farm managed by OSU Horticulture; Red Hat Melons, a local farm who provides melons, pumpkins and squash; Riverwood Farms, local grower who provides apples and pears; and Pacific Coast Fruit in Portland who sources products both locally and otherwise,” said Rich Turnbull, associate director of University Housing and Dining Services.

Read the full story at The Daily Barometer. Article by Gwen Shaw. Photo by Vinay Bikkina.

 


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