Argo Tea serves SUNY Buffalo State

Published in FSD C&U Spotlight

Argo Buffalo State opening

Students at SUNY Buffalo State, in Buffalo, N.Y., have a refreshing reason to visit the campus library these days. This spring, the dining services team, managed by Chartwells at Buffalo State, opened a licensed Argo Tea location within the Butler Library on the upstate New York campus—the first Argo Tea location in western New York and the seventh on a college campus. Argo is one of 18 dining operations on campus.

Buffalo State’s previous café concept was inconveniently located in the library, so moving the new café to a more central area was important. And with the move to more digital storage formats in the library, an entire wing of the building was available for transformation into the Argo Tea café. “We’ve transformed library stacks into a beautiful café,” explains Austin Craig, director of catering with Chartwells at Buffalo State. And within the new space, “we’re showing a 12% increase in same store sales from the [previous concept],” he says.

A new, separate entryway provides students with easy access to hot and cold tea-based beverages, snacks and sandwiches. “The big thing that we did is we built an additional entrance off of the library, off of the wing, it goes right off of the parking lot, versus in the past, you’d have to walk all the way around in the snow and ice,” Craig explains. “[It] allows students to come right through and get the nice lovely oatmeal in the morning, or one of the popular teas, like the Hibiscus Tea Sangria, on their way to class.”

Open during library hours to serve the large commuter student population, the new concept is a success according to Jane Calvert, resident dietitian and Argo Tea café manager with Chartwells. “They definitely love the Chai; it’s fantastic. And the Hibiscus Tea Sangria is probably the other most popular. People really love their iced drinks, even in winter. [Guests have] also really enjoyed the chicken sandwiches.”

More From FoodService Director

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 But with that history come the logistical challenges of operating in outdated spaces—especially for foodservice.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...

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.

Ideas and Innovation
leftovers containers

We use our Menu Forward idea to empower staff to develop menu items and keep leftovers in check. Product left at the end of service may be claimed by any station to become part of a new item within six weeks. I’m happy to see my star team fighting for their ideas and products; the benefit to food cost is spot-on, and my freezer has no mystery items lurking in the corner.

Menu Development
muse school produce

Kayla Webb, executive chef at Muse School, has transitioned the private K-12 day school in Calabasas, Calif., to an entirely vegan menu over a three-year period. Webb talks about her menuing, and how the school’s kitchen earned the title of “greenest restaurant in the world” from the Green Restaurant Association.

Q: How did you help parents get used to the idea of an all plant-based diet?

A: The first year, we didn’t announce it. We were just serving one plant-based meal a week, so it wasn’t that drastic. We do monthly Muse Talks where we invite different speakers to our school to...

FSD Resources