Flaming Eggplant News

Evergreen Students Take Steps to Renew Cafe

Flaming Eggplant Cafe Temporary Closure

(OLY, WA, February 06, 2019)- The Flaming Eggplant Cafe, a student-run cafe on the campus of The Evergreen State College, will temporarily pause Spring Quarter 2019 operations while the students work with campus stakeholders to re-envision a more fiscally sustainable operation model and supportive governance structure. 

The cafe will pause operations beginning Friday, March 22. Students employed by the cafe have been provided five weeks’ notice and offered support from the Academic and Career Advising Office and Student Employment as they seek other opportunities. A committee comprised of students, staff, faculty, and community is forming to take on the exciting work of strengthening the academic ties to the program, developing a fiscally sustainable operating model, and re-envisioning a cafe governance structure that supports the needs of the current student population.  

The cafe has weathered rotating student leadership, staff administrative transitions, as well as increases in the minimum wage. As food production costs rose over the last several years, the cafe remained true to their values of serving local, sustainable food options at an affordable cost to their patrons. Evergreen staff put the cafe on notice a year ago to allow time for the students to work with their advisor in addressing sustainable operations. Working with CoFED, a non-profit with a mission to support campus food cooperatives, several changes in staffing and pricing slowed the budget drain, but could not stem it. 

The beloved campus eatery began 10 years ago as a student group serving food to the Evergreen community on Red Square. The students formalized what once was a volunteer-driven event by collaborating with the office of Residential and Dining Services to purchase a food service trailer; where they served sustainable food at low prices. Thanks to a one-time student fee, the trailer evolved into the current 900 sq foot space inside the College Activities Building. With a goal of re-opening Fall Quarter 2019, opportunities for students, staff, faculty, alumni and community to offer support and feedback will be available in the next few months. 

For more information contact: Kayla Mahnke at 360-867-6220