Flik brings changes, organic food options

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






From flavored water to tuna salad to turkey burgers, students are being treated to an all-new kind of food service.

“When Robert Nash decided to retire,” said director of business and finance, Wendy Barnhart, “we brought together a team of people to start talking about transition and the future of our food program.”

The team was made up of a variety of faculty memebers including Barnhart, former director of dining Robert Nash, assistant vice president of business and finance, Michelle Stubbs, health and safety legal coordinator, Theresa Dean, and human resources director, Elizabeth Lunsford.

“Together we developed a vendor’s selection and a request for proposal that we drafted and sent to a number of providers,” said Barnhart.  “We asked them to send proposed services to us that could start very quickly. Using all the data we could give them, they developed a budget and a staffing plan,” said Barnhart. “They also interviewed and hired all of our employees.”

Most students think Flik just gave school employees new uniforms, but now the lunchroom staff no longer directly works for the school.

“It was really important for us to understand the way in which Flik provided employee benefits and training,” said Barnhart. “Our employees were really important to us and have been here a long time, so we wanted them to have opportunities for advancement as well as comparable benefits.”

Once the school hired Flik, they worked together to fill Nash’s role as well as hiring a new chef and catering manager.

“When we decided to go to Flik, we needed a more experienced director that was equivalent to Mr. Nash’s position, and Terrence Dromm held a similar role,” said Barnhart. “Flik hired him, but we were involved in the interview process.”

Dromm has worked in the food service industry at Clemson University, North Greenville University, and most recently at the University of West Georgia.

“When I came here I saw that there was an opportunity with Flik,” said Dromm. “It looked like a good fit, so I made the decision to come to Westminster.”

Along with a dining director, the school needed to hire a new chef and catering manager.

“Chef Eric Centeno is an experienced chef who came from another division of Compass in corporate dining,” said Barnhart. “After that we also needed a catering manager. Our catering program was not any one specific director, but more of a team effort and we really needed a more focused approach, so the third person we needed to hire was Natasha.”

Natasha Noel, the catering manager, previously worked at Woodward Academy.

“They are all really excited and enthusiastic about a good health food program for children,” said Barnhart.

In just one semester, the school’s team found Flik and hired Dromm, Centeno, and Noel. Just one week after school ended, Flik took over the lunchroom.

“Many schools either don’t have a lunch program in the summer or they have a very small one, but ours is pretty big,” said Barnhart. “That was a little bit of a challenge, because there wasn’t much prep time.”

Although the majority of Flik’s new regime was praised, at the beginning of the school year there were some issues with a lack of vegetarian protein. One of Flik’s prides is their availability of vegetarian and vegan options, but they seemed to be minimal.

“About a month ago, some teachers and I addressed the lack of vegetarian protein in the hotline,” said chemistry teacher Anna Moore, “and the next day there was an option, and there has been every day since.”

“At the beginning of the year it was hard to get protein in,” said senior vegetarian Sloan Krakovsky, “so I kept a jar of peanut butter in my locker.”

The complaints of Flik have been minimal though, and the majority of faculty, staff and students only have positive things to say about the new food, probably due to its freshness.

“We want to share what we are passionate about, and we want the food everyday in this facility to reflect that,” said Dromm. “I don’t want to look at this as a cafeteria – to me it’s a restraunt we’re running, and we want the food to represent what we are.”

 

“It was really important for us to understand the way in which FLIK provided employee benefits and training,” said Barnhart. “Our employees were really important to us and have been here a long time, so we wanted them to have opportunities for advancement as well as comparable benefits.”

Once the school hired FLIK, they worked together to fill Nash’s role as well as hire a new chef and catering manager.

“When we decided to go to Flik, we needed a more experienced director that was equivalent to Mr. Nash’s position, and Terrence Dromm held a similar role,” said Barnhart.  “FLIK hired him, but we were involved in the interview process.”

Dromm has worked in the food service industry at Clemson University, North Greenville University, and most recently at the University of West Georgia.

“When I came here I saw that there was an opportunity with FLIK,” said Dromm. “It looked like a good fit, so I made the decision to come to Westminster.”

Along with a dining director, the school needed to hire a new chef and catering manager.

“Chef Eric is an experienced chef who came from another division of Compass in corporate dining” said Barnhart. “After that we also needed a catering manager. Our catering program was not any one specific director, but more of a team effort and we really needed a more focused approach, so the third person we needed to hire was Natasha.”

Natasha, the catering manager, previously worked at Lindbrook, a retirement home in Atlanta, and at Woodward Academy.

“They are all really excited and enthusiastic about a good health food program for children,” said Barnhart.

In just one semester, the school’s team found FLIK and hired Dromm, Eric, and Natasha. Just one week after school ended, FLIK took over the lunchroom.

“Many schools either don’t have a lunch program in the summer or they have a very small one, but ours is pretty big,” said Barnhart. “That was little bit of a challenge, because there wasn’t much prep time.”

“I was eating lunch everyday at school during the summer because I was taking Bible summer school,” said senior Maggie Norsworthy. “Everyday my class would dance over to Malone becasue we were so excited to eat.”

Although the majority of FLIK’s new regime was praised, at the beginning of the school year there were some issues with a lack of vegetarian protein. One of FLIK’s prides is their availability of vegetarian and vegan options, but they seemed to be minimal.

“About a month ago, some teachers and I addressed the lack of vegetarian protein in the hotline,” said chemistry teacher Anna Moore, “and the next day there was an option, and there has been every day since.”

“At the beginning of the year it was hard to get protein in,” said senior vegetarian Sloan Krakovsky, ”so I kept a jar of peanut butter in my locker.”

Another vegetarian teacher, Jenny Heidt, had to deal with a lack of protein as well.

“Some days the vegetarian options are awesome, and other days it’s less available,” said Heidt, “but I know they’re aware of it and hopefully they’re going to keep working on it.

A few weeks into the school year, it seemed like FLIK finally heard the vegetarian voices and began offering a variety of vegetarian options.

“What’s impressed me most is they’ve been so incredibly responsive,” said Moore.

“It’s a lot easier to find things to eat than last year,” said Krakovksy. “It’s actually really tasty and I never feel like a lesser person because I don’t eat meat.”

The complaints of FLIK have been minimal though, and the majority of faculty, staff and students only have positive things to say about the new food, probably due to its freshness.

“When we do our salad bars and our entrees, the vast majority of the stuff we bring in will be fresh,” said Dromm. “There are some things we’re going to bring in that are frozen, but very minimal compared to before.”

FLIK must overcome challenges to provide such fresh, well-liked food.

“An example of a challenge we’ve had is with the chicken tenders, which we had individually breaded by hand,” said Dromm.  “We’ve got a short, narrow window to get everybody fed, and we want to get everybody fed as quickly as we can with the best quality food that we can prepare.”

FLIK promotes local and sustainable foods. Looking down the road, FLIK wants to continue using fresh products and add even more locally grown items onto the menu.

“We want to share what we are passionate about, and we want the food everyday in this facility to reflect that,” said Dromm. “I don’t want to look at this as a cafeteria- to me it’s a restaurant we’re running, and we want the food to represent what we are.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email