Coming soon to Pine View, a new coffee bar will be offered to high school students and faculty members alike. The idea was selected over that of a salad bar, predominantly due to space restrictions in the cafeteria, but also because of its originality and appeal to students.
Manager of Food and Nutrition Services Candice Hunsucker has helped prepare for its arrival on campus. “Pine View is so unique with our programs and academics that other schools don’t have. We wanted to start that here in the kitchen,” Hunsucker said. “Other schools already have [salad bars.] A coffee bar is something nobody else has.”
“Students continued to ask me about a salad bar, an idea which I advocated strongly. However, that didn’t work out due to space issues in our Student Union. We learned there was an opportunity to pilot a coffee bar in Sarasota County, which we accepted,” Assistant Principal Tricia Allen said.
Unlike most foods and beverages offered in the student union, the coffee will be sourced directly from the manufacturer, “Monin,” which is a company used by many popular coffee shops around Sarasota. Generally, foods distributed in school environments are restricted in the amounts of salt and fat. However, the beverages that are going to be offered here at Pine View directly resembles that of other coffee shops. According to Hunsucker, the coffee bar is going to be an “a la carte” item that meets all Smart Snack Guidelines, regulations established by the United States Department of Agriculture.
The foremost intent of the coffee bar is to encourage more students to visit the cafeteria, targeting those who usually do not come to have lunch. “They always say that saying, ‘If you build it they will come.’ We are hoping that something new and exciting like this will bring kids into the cafeteria to each lunch and have a coffee,” Hunsucker said, “So if [students] come in and say ‘Oh I’m just coming to get a coffee,’ and go ‘Oh wow! You guys have nachos today? I’ll get lunch too!’ Because that is the whole point of the food service program. Not to sell kids chips and things like that, it’s to feed them breakfast and lunch.”
Even though the quality of coffee resembles that of other coffee shops, the price is going to be much less than the alternative, according to Hunsucker. Flavors that will be offered include vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, chocolate and raspberry, all of which that will be zero calorie natural flavoring. The flavors are vegan and gluten-free and the food service committee at Pine View is looking into intolerance and vegan-friendly milk substitutes.
The coffee bar will be located on the high school side of the Student Union, and run from 7:00 to 9:15 a.m. and 10:00 to 2:00 p.m.