Juice bar to replace Taco Bell after winning favor in student survey

The results of the polls are in: Due to a landslide of votes, a juice bar will be replacing Taco Bell in the spring 2014 semester. The juice bar won the survey over the candy bar by a huge margin, with 779 votes compared to the candy bar's 74.

After failed negotiations with Taco Bell, which demanded expensive changes and an all-or-nothing 10-year contract with Geneseo to stay in its current location, Campus Auxiliary Services made plans to replace the food station.

CAS has been monitoring student opinion to see what the best utilization of the newly opened space would be. The school is optimistically welcoming the change.

Jonna Anne, director of culinary operations and executive chef of CAS said, “There's so much more we can do when it's ours - when it's the students' choice.”

Both Anne and Becky Stewart, CAS' marketing coordinator, stressed the importance of student opinion throughout the decision-making process. Not only did students make the final decision but they also had a voice in what the two options were.

“Student feedback played a part in [deciding] those concepts,” Stewart said. “They didn't just come out of somebody's head while they were sitting locked in an office.”

CAS implemented social media, online surveys and sales history to determine what the two final options should be.

The new juice bar will be open from breakfast through late night and will provide students with a variety of options.

“Juice is one of those things you can drink any time of the day,” Anne said.

Many students have commented on the decision, some pointing out that juice hardly qualifies as a meal, but the space has limited room and close to no cooking equipment, so options are slim.

Students are “very enthusiastic towards the nutritional aspect of the juice,” according to Stewart. CAS is planning on incorporating foods that can be locally produced such as kale, spinach and beets. They prioritize the inclusion of local foods, using a total of 41,000 pounds of New York State produce during the 2011-2012 school year.

The next step will be to utilize focus groups to decide what specific ingredients and options will be offered.

On Nov. 6 and Nov. 15, interested students can participate by trying samples of options and their voices will decide which options are kept or dismissed. Options being debated right now include chia seeds, flaxseed and protein powder.

The biggest problem students seem to have with the juice bar is that Taco Bell will no longer be offered on campus. There is a bright side: Similar food is still sold at Fusion Market as well as Southside Cafe.

Anne reassuringly said, “Burritos still live.”