Cooper’s school meal challenge

Boulder Valley Board of Education is raising money to improve breakfast and lunch menus in Boulder schools.

On Tuesday, there was an interesting article in the Boulder (Colo.) Daily Camera, which we highlighted in our In The News section of the Web site. The newspaper reported that the Boulder Valley Board of Education has raised $400,000, toward a goal of $700,000, to improve breakfast and lunch menus in Boulder schools.

About three-quarters of the money raised thus far will go to pay Lunch Lessons, the menu consulting firm founded and headed by Ann Cooper, to remain in the district for at least one more year as it tries to make the district “a leader in student nutrition,” according to the article.

Last year, Boulder hired Lunch Lessons to show the district how to make school meals healthier. The board of education also appointed Cooper as interim director of foodservice, to lead the charge into what one board member called “the new world of school food.” The district’s goal is to have a foodservice program where everything is made from scratch, using all natural foods and nothing that has been processed. Cooper gained national attention from her work as foodservice director for the Berkeley, Calif., School District, and has parlayed that success into her new company and a gig with the Boulder district.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Cooper also has become a partner with Whole Foods Market to try to widen her sphere of influence. She and Walter Robb, co-president of Whole Foods, plan to go to Congress to argue for sweeping improvements to the federal Child Nutrition Act.

They even have created a Web site, thelunchbox.org, where people will be able to get healthful recipes, information about food safety, and suggestions on how to be a community activist, among other things.

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
wage feud business

As plans to increase the minimum wage surge ahead in states such as New York and California, operators eventually will feel the reverberations shake up labor costs for more than just hourly workers. As associate wages gain on manager salaries, operators will have to answer a call for reciprocal increases. FSD spoke with operators who advised going gently into the brave new world of heightened labor costs, investing in talent and making cuts elsewhere; however, they did offer three perfectly proactive tactics to make the process as seamless as possible.

1. Keep talking

Even though...

Menu Development
craft beer flight
A draw for happy hour...

San Francisco restaurateur Charles Phan plans to serve beer and wine, and depending on liquor licensing, perhaps cocktails as well. “For faculty and staff on campus, it will be a really wonderful place to come to and have a glass of wine,” Wolch says. “Right now, we have The Faculty Club bar, which is a very historic spot, but this is going to be much more contemporary.”

And for morning coffee...

Phan’s plan for made-to-order coffee is bound to be a boon for both faculty and students. “We’ll have a brand-new espresso machine,” Phan says. Wolch adds, “Most...

Ideas and Innovation
chicken herbs

We make and broadcast short YouTube videos on TV monitors to educate our customers about cooking techniques, like how to cut up a chicken or what herbs and spices go well together. The monitors also are used to display daily menus, nutritional and allergen information, upcoming foodservice events and local weather forecasts.

Managing Your Business
wurster west may 2016

At a nearly 150-year-old university, every stone column and classroom has treasured stories to tell. But with that history come the logistical challenges of operating in outdated spaces—especially for foodservice. Such is the case at University of California at Berkeley, where longtime cafe Ramona’s in Wurster Hall closed in March to make way for an updated, as-yet unnamed concept.

With little more than a steam table and coolers, Ramona’s was limited by its lack of ventilation. And, as a former classroom space, it never was intended to function for foodservice, says Jennifer Wolch...

FSD Resources