Springfield College Partners with Harvest Table Culinary Group

Springfield College Dining Services is proud to announce it has partnered with Harvest Table Culinary Group for its hospitality and dining services. “The College is excited to be a part of an authentic and personalized “food first” philosophy through this partnership,” said Mary-Beth Cooper, President of Springfield College.  

Springfield College will become one of a few colleges and universities nationwide to embrace a fresh, customized “food first” philosophy through a new partnership with Harvest Table Culinary Group. 

 

Springfield College Dining Services is proud to announce it has partnered with Harvest Table Culinary Group for its hospitality and dining services. “The College is excited to be a part of an authentic and personalized “food first” philosophy through this partnership,” said Mary-Beth Cooper, President of Springfield College.  

Student Experience

Over the spring semester, Harvest Table will work with Springfield College staff and student leadership to reinvent the dining experience to align with the premium standard of Harvest Table’s culinary and guest experience promise. Harvest Table is an independent division of Aramark, which has managed our college’s dining services program for the past several years.

“Our students have spoken and we have listened,” said Dr. Mary-Beth Cooper, president of Springfield College. “Our move to Harvest Table complements the College’s dedication to the health and nutritional needs of our campus community, especially our students. We believe Harvest Table shares the same core values and our Humanics philosophy. We look forward to this new partnership and look forward to hearing from our students, faculty, and staff, as this partnership begins and develops throughout the fall semester.”

The Harvest Table Experience

Harvest Table believes in transformative culinary experiences in which every meal tells a story. They provide a program that brings fresh ingredients and new ideas together in a place that encourages personal growth, meaningful connections, and a strong sense of community. They promise to work with the Springfield College community to bring an innovative, authentic, and personalized food experience to life. They describe themselves as “a team of chefs, hospitality experts, and foodies dedicated to delivering a different kind of culinary experience.”

“At Harvest Table, we take our talents and combine them with the talents of our campus partners to produce a product that is uniquely different and one that is a game-changer for the campus hospitality industry.” – Mary Thornton, Founder & President of Harvest Table Culinary Group

Harvest Table Culinary Group staff came to campus December 2, 2019 to introduce their program to the Springfield College community. They prepared a farm table lunch for student leadership, and hosted a station takeover in the Dining Hall for all community members to enjoy. “I’m happy that this new service will be adaptable to almost every type of dietary restriction,” said Freddy Clark, President of Student Government.“They are willing to adjust to include everyone's dining needs and I feel this new option is promising to our student population. I was also interested by Harvest Table's desire to support and connect with local businesses in Springfield. Many of our students want to know where the food is from and the exact nutritional facts.”

Changes On the Springfield College Campus

This fall, Harvest Table’s presence will be most noticeable in Cheney Hall.  Over the course of the year, the Harvest Table brand come to life in additional dining areas including the Union Station and Springfield College Catering.

Students and the community will have full transparency at Cheney Hall into all nutritional and allergen information through clear menu communication. Another enhancement to come will be access to a mobile-friendly dining website which will allow for filtered menu information based on dietary preferences. New recipe collections will be introduced and will include innovative concepts and locally procured foods from partners in the Springfield community.  “We’re excited that Harvest Table plans to embrace our greater Springfield community partners and create new local partnerships, keeping in line with our mission to serve others,” said Cooper.

Menu development will be based on guest insights, health and wellness commitments, emerging trends, seasonality, and community feedback. Harvest Table Culinary Groups Chief Culinary Officer Chef Matthew Thompson will develop the menus in collaboration with Harvest Table’s culinary council and the Springfield College community.

Sustainable practices will continue to grow through the College’s partnership with Harvest Table over the next several months. 

Notable updates include:
  • Chicken, Beef, and Pork: The transition of all raw animal proteins (beef, poultry and pork) on campus to third-party higher animal welfare certified ingredients.
  • Deli Meat: The deli will feature Applegate Farms, additive-free, all-natural and third-party higher animal welfare certified meats and freshly baked breads and rolls.
  • Milk and Yogurt: Partnering with local, sustainable, and artisan producers to bring new ingredients to campus including NON-GMO certified, organic, and rBST-free sources of liquid dairy and yogurt.
  • Ingredients: Ingredient offerings will be elevated to such brands as Barilla Pasta, Sir Kensington condiments, InHarvest Grains, Tabasco hot sauces, Chobani Greek yogurts, King Arthur and Sambazon Acai - to name a few.

The Harvest Table culinary team is passionate about local and seasonal products and looks forward to engaging western Massachusetts producers to bring the best ingredients possible to campus. 

In addition, Cheney Hall will become a completely additive-free, scratch-made kitchen. The team of certified culinarians craft all recipes using their premium pantry of ingredients while tailoring a hospitality dining experience FOR Springfield College, BY Springfield College. The chef’s council engages campus communities on a monthly basis to ideate then develop new recipes and menu concepts that meet the evolving needs of today’s student.

Finally, the move to Harvest Table complements the College’s dedication to the health and nutritional needs of our campus community, especially our students. “We believe Harvest Table shares our same core values and our Humanics philosophy,” Cooper concluded. “We look forward to this new partnership and look forward to hearing from our students and our community as this partnership begins and develops throughout the fall semester.”