Green Cafe | St. Lawrence University Sustainability Program

Green Cafe

The sustainability program partnered with the dining service and business in the liberal arts major to develop a student run cafe with the goal of providing locally sourced sustainably grown food.  The sustainability program developed the idea and piloted a run during the Spring of 2019.  The idea developed into a class dedicated to running the cafe during the fall of 2019.  The cafe will partner with many groups on campus to highlight diversity within the campus.  Future goals include expanding the number of nights per week the cafe is open and to increase the number of students served.  We hope to use the cafe to tackle multiple intellectual topics including sustainability, business, culture, cuisine, agriculture, systems thinking and diversity.

Goals:

1) Use real world experiences to teach our students.

2) Teach students about managing a small business and entrepreneurship through direct experience.

3) Provide local sustainable food to the campus community grown by students at The St. Lawerence University Farm and sourced from other local and regional farmers.

4) Use food to demonstrate the diversity of culture in our community

Partners:

Sustainability Program

Dana Dining Service

Business in the Liberal Arts Major

Seed to Table Student Club

Big Spoon Kitchen

History:

In the spring of 2018, the sustainability students were exploring real campus sustainability related problems to address.  After talking with Dana Dining Sevice an idea emerged that sparked a high level of excitement.  The problem the students wanted to address was how to get more local, sustainable food provided to our campus community.  Dana Dining Service revealed the barriers, but through collaborative problem solving the idea of the green cafe emerged.  Earlier attempts at local food got "lost" within the larger dining experience.  By focusing on a smaller specialized cafe that highlights local, sustainable, and healthy food, it allows us accomplish the following: 1) It demonstrates student demand for sustainable food. 2) The sustainable food is featured and celebrated. 3) The economics can be explored in depth to understand the economic feasibility. 4) The model can be explored and trialed to potentially replicate to other cafes on campus. 5) It gives the opportunity for the students to get real world experience in business management and understand its tensions with sustainability.  This cafe idea offers so many educational possibilities from sustainable farming to business management to diversity of food culture to real world problem solving.  The next cohort of sustainability students developed the idea futher figuring out the logistics.  In the spring of 2019, the sustainability program ran a couple trial cafes.  In the fall of 2019 the students will be running an evening cafe at Spartacus on Wednesday nights.

Operation:

The cafe will take place in the Spartacus Cafe on Wednesday nights.  We are calling the project "The Farm at Kirk Douglas."  We will also be hosting special diversity highlighting food sustainability and culture.  These pop up cafes will be unique and we hope to partner with other groups on campus.  If you are interested in being a partner reach out to us and we can coordinate something.   We would love to have you join us for dinner!  Please sign up to be on the list serve and we can send you an email with upcoming menus and events.

Participate:

You can participate in multiple ways.  You can sign up for the Green Cafe Class taking place Fall 2019.  You can sign up to be apart of the sustainability program we take applications for the full year program during the spring semester.  You can join the club seed to table, the student club dedicated to food.  You can reach out and volunteer at the St. Lawrence University Farm or at the cafe.  Your organization can partner on special events.  Feel free to contact us for more information on any of these.

Contact:

For green cafe class information:

Dr. Sara Ashpole

sashpole@stlawu.edu

 

For farm info:

Samuel Joseph

sjoseph@stlawu.edu