Saddles Café is the newest food joint on campus located in the Bronco Student Center (BSC), next to the Subway taking over where Peet’s Coffee used to be.
This new establishment’s name was chosen by a student naming contest that the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation’s marketing department held.
The cafe had a soft opening when school started, but held the official grand opening event on Sept. 13 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The event included a ceremonial ribbon cutting and plenty of samples of paninis for the students.
“This is a party for our faculty, staff and our students for the university just to enjoy the outcome of our hard work this summer and to bring this type of concept to the students, it’s just a party to thank them,” said Sandra Cain, the multi-unit manager at the BSC.
This brand-new location is aiming to serve grab ‘n’ go items, pastries and artisan panini sandwiches.
There will also be a beverage menu from Starbucks.
“We prepped to increase the student experience by focusing on introducing new and unique savory flavors,” said Heather Ludegna, marketing assistant of dining services. “Our expectation for the day was to create a highly interactive setting to meet the student experience. We are excited to be introducing our most modern panini concept.”
The students seem to be taking a liking to the food.
Kendall Feliciano is a first-year master’s student in biology and ordered a Turca Panini.
“It was cute and clean and there was no line when I went and I got my food fast,” Feliciano said. “It was actually really good.”
To add to the aesthetics of the location, Saddles Café has its menu written in various bright colors on a large chalkboard.
Gabriel Pena is a second-year hospitality student who ordered a steak and egg panini, which he enjoyed. He helped train the baristas when the café was getting started.
He expressed how he likes that Chef Tonya really uses CPP’s resources for the new café and that it’s cute because “it’s a one and only” café.
The new café includes produce from the Huntley College of Agriculture and the Farm Store.
Retail Chef Tonya Tardd expressed the desire to use more of the school’s resources and create a stronger farm to table situation.
Tardd expressed her thoughts for the grand opening event. “My expectations are to really introduce what we are offering here to the students, to get that feedback from them, and more so to get that interaction from them, so that they know Saddles Café is here, and get that concept of what we are doing here and to voice that concept out to them,” she said.
Cain expressed how the café has been getting some great responses so far from the students, and she has high hopes for the future.
She added, “I think the projections [are] very good [and] the more Saddles Café gets out into the university and the more people know about it, the better we will do and it will be evolving with our panini program.”
It is no secret that the goal of this café is to really integrate the voice of the students and give them a say in what they would like to eat.
This café was made with significant help from the students and aims to continue that participation and input.
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