Cucumbers, strawberries, sweet potatoes, oh my! On Wednesday, September 27, Sodexo Food Service hosted their annual campus farmers’ market in the quad. A wide variety of fruits and vegetables filled the vendor tables for purchase. Students were even able to use their flex and tiger dollars in addition to traditional methods of payment.
According to Operations Manager of Dining, Claudia Bowen, “Sodexo has been hosting the campus farmers’ market for the last three years during the fall and spring semesters.” For the farmers’ market, Sodexo partners with the same vendor who supplies the daily produce for the dining hall. All the produce supplied at the farmers’ market and the dining hall comes from local Midwest farms.
The farmers’ market was both convenient and wallet-friendly for students and staff. Bowen acknowledged how convenient it was for students to be able to pay for their groceries with flex and tiger dollars, making it easy for students to have access to produce without making a trip to the grocery store.
Junior Lateefah Williams said, “I think it’s great that they hosted the event; it was a convenient way for people to buy groceries and learn more about what Sodexo offers.”
Students who stayed up late the night before the farmers market doing homework and studying for tests were blessed with the presence of coffee vendor and founder of Connect Roasters, (aka Single-Origin Relationship Coffee) Caleb Benoit. Benoit is a 2006 Olivet alumnus who graduated with a journalism degree. Why would a journalism major start a coffee business? For Benoit, it was a trip to the Dominican Republic.
“It was the first time seeing real poverty,” Benoit said.
He wanted to find a way to help, so he started his own business last September. Coffee was the ideal product because it is grown in the developing world. According to Beloit, fifty percent of Connect Roaster’s profits are returned to places like Guatemala, where they source their coffee, to fund programs like health clinics and education centers. It is fondly known as “relationship coffee” because in buying the coffee, customers can improve the lives of people across the world. According to the Connect Roasters website, “We believe coffee is a form of communion, and it connects us not only to those with whom we share it— family, friends, colleagues — but also brothers and sisters all over the world.”
To join Beloit on his mission to help people in the developing world and satisfy your caffeine cravings, purchase Connect Roasters coffee at connectroasters.com.
If you missed this fall’s market, look for the sequel of the Sodexo Farmers’ Market in the spring semester.