Berkeley Student Food Collective Storefront

Project Leads: Ilana Nevins, Kate Kaplan, Carli Baker

Sponsor: Berkeley Student Food Collective

TGIF Grant: $2,560

Project Theme: Food Justice & Sustainability

Project Location

2012 Application Submission

Status: In Progress

Project Description: This grant will be used by the BSFC expand its in-house food prep as a part of its larger mission to increase sustainable food accessibility to the Berkeley campus and community. Based on a spring 2012 customer survey, 57% of customers visit the BSFC during lunch hours and 55% of these customers chose the prepared Food Collective Sandwich as their favorite store item. Over 50% of the total customers surveyed specifically requested additional prepared grab-n-go items be made available in the store.

Goals: Expand the BSFC’s in-house food prep program by purchasing the necessary equipment and installing the necessary food-prep stations. Meet the customers’ growing demand for prepared foods, as reflected in a conducted customer survey. Sell BSFC prepared foods which will reflect the BSFC’s core values and will demonstrate to customers how they themselves can create delicious, nutritious, and conscious meals at home. Provide community cooking demonstrations to share with BSFC members and customers the recipes and techniques on how to create some of BSFC’s most popular prepared foods. Expand the BSFC’s membership and customer bases. Reduce the BSFC’s carbon emissions by cutting out the prepared foods “middle-man” and receive ingredients directly for in-house preparation. Be able to use older produce for ingredients that would otherwise be unsellable and composted, thereby savings money and reducing food waste. Purchase more items in bulk and reduce packaging waste.

2012-2013 Accomplishments

  • Purchased new food prep equipment, including a vitamix blender, a panini press, an oven, shelving, and a stainless steel counter.
  • Started offering a panini option at the Collective. Customers who purchase a sandwich can pay $1 extra to turn the sandwich into a panini.
  • Started making a variety of vegan pastries and desserts using the Collective’s new oven. The Collective has been making scones, muffins, and cookies.
  • The Food Collective reorganized the store’s back room, creating a better storage system and more cooking space.
  • The Food Collective’s grab-and-go items have consistently been 10-15% of the store’s weekly sales.
  • Customers and the public have begun to recognize the Collective’s “brand” food items, and ask about them during business hours.
  • The Food Collective has been testing more effective strategies for preparing and selling sandwiches.
  • The Food Collective has relabeled the store in order to standardize the labeling structure for all items.
  • Researched product information for food prep equipment to expand the Collective’s food prep options.
  • Due to large membership base, tabling on Sproul has been successful. The Collective is looking into applying for permits to sell BSFC food-prep items on Sproul Plaza.
  • The Food Collective created a customer feedback form to gather input on new food items and suggestions for future menus.
    • Continually surveying customers for feedback on prepared foods and the grab-n-go items.
  • The Food Collective has been partnering with ReUSE on a 2012 TGIF Mini-Grant Trash to Treasure.
The Food Collective is currently looking into permits for cooking and selling more “hot” food items. The project is slated to be completed by fall semester 2013.