Madison College Truax opens healthy cafe in cafeteria


Jacob Ennis, Managing editor

Pizza has been moved to the WolfPack Den to make room for a “healthy cafe” at the Truax campus. There’s sushi in the back and healthy snacks at the checkout line. Organic and gluten-free foods are prepared in front of you, some of which contain local ingredients.

Terrie Thorstad, director of Auxiliary Services, worked with many of the student organizations and groups and found that they desired a healthier option for food.

After the concept of a healthy cafe was formed, Chefs Jason Walker and Brad Kahn worked together over the summer to come up with a menu for the new place. Providing local and organic food is one of their goals, along with being all things healthy. Not even one soda is in the cooler. Students are still free to use the soda machines that are only about 20 steps away.

Vegetable soup for $2.99 includes the choice of vegetables and broth along with bread and butter. An upgrade to include a meat choice brings the price to $3.99. Also on the dinner menu are items such as a hummus plate for $4.99 and vegetable plates ranging from $3.99-$6.99 depending on what’s included.

There is also a protein of the day and a pasta or grain of the day, Kahn said. This helps change up the items offered, yet keep the menu easy remember.

Should anyone have any questions about health food, Kahn said he is happy to answer and educate them. Binders of information are also available at the assembly line if wanting to sit in the cafeteria and learn while eating is desired.

Customers also won’t have to worry about their allergies because the chefs make certain of what ingredients go into the food. All one needs to do is mention what allergies they have.

Paper plates or plastic trays won’t be found there, either. The food is served on actual dinnerware. Kahn and Walker just want students to be sure to return the bowls. They don’t want to lose them, and have to resort to the barbeque style of serving food.

Not only will buying local grass-fed meats help out the farmers in the region, it will help control the quality.

“It’s a good thing to do for the community,” Thorstad said

Most of the fresh produce and ingredients are organic, and some are even local, she said. Another upside is the possibility of grants from the federal government for healthy menu items.

As with the Marketplace and WolfPack Den, use of the One Card to purchase food will earn customers a 10-percent discount.

Though it’s still referred to as the Market Express, the official name will be decided by a naming contest set for September.

“I think our biggest problem is going to be, can we keep up with the demand once it get’s going?” Thorstad said. She sees it being very successful, and rightly so. It’s a healthy option right inside the cafeteria that’s decently priced.

Along with the addition of the new healthy cafe, the Marketplace (most know it simply as the cafeteria) will also have a little change to it, but not enough to confuse anyone.

There will be some new $4.99 hot meal menu items, and the ones that did well last semester are still there. Also, once a week Doug, the grill cook, will be making his catfish special in the Marketplace.