By PARKER BROCK
Shannon Kull and Candy Richards are two of the food service workers at Pima Community College West Campus cafeteria. Kull has been working for Follet for the last 15 years and they both sat down to talk with the Aztec Press.
Q: How long have you been working here at Pima?:
A:I’ve been working for Follet for 15 years, various management positions, different campuses,” Shanon Kull, Store Manager at Pima West Campus, said.
“I’ve been with Follet around 5 years” Candy Richards, Cafe Service Manager, said.
Q: What does your average work day look like?
A: Richards- It can vary, I’m usually here most of the time now, I was going around to the other campuses. Here we are doing a hot lunch special so I’m here most of the day to get it ready.
Q: When it comes to the hot lunches, do you guys determine what to prepare?
A: Richards- Everything we get is pre cooked, we have a variety of items we get from Shamrock, our food vendor. Its most prepping food and getting it out there, I make a menu and go from there.
Kull- We are deciding what we are doing for the hot lunch, and it is limited to foods that are already prepared because our model is more of a grab and go rather than a kitchen, but Candy has done a great job and researched what we can do within those limitations and try and switch things up and make it interesting. She goes to different food events and shows and tries to get different ideas.
Q: Do you think what you’re offering to students is a good deal?
A: Richards- We try to make something we can keep under five dollars for the students.
Kull- We’ve tried to be really price conscious because our customers are students and we try to look at that. So for our hot lunches like our nachos or tacos it’s a pretty great deal; they’re getting a lot of food.
Q: Do you see people try to shoplift, how do you act when it happens?
A: Kull- Sometimes we do, we are pretty careful not to do anything unless we know for sure, campus police has told us if we have suspicions they will come and do a walk through and keep an eye out. If we see a shoplifter we will call campus police and they’ll handle it from there.”
Q: Do you enjoy what you do here?
A: Kull – I think so, we’ve been here a long time and I like working at Pima. We like the students. The schedule is great, for traditional retail or food service you’d be working weekends, holidays and nights, so with a school schedule it’s really nice.
Q: If you guys could change something here, do you have the power to and what would it be?
A: Kull- We do have leeway to change things within reason, if it’s something we think would concern the campus or have more complicated things involved we would reach out to our regional manager for input.
Richards- It’s been great that we’ve been able to offer this hot lunch, some of our students are long time students and they remember having a grill at one time. It’s been great that we’ve been able to keep it at a price they can afford and making it a variety of food.
Kull- It’s all been from student feedback that Candy puts together because we didn’t start hot lunches for the first couple years.
Q:Speaking of student feedback, do greatly value student feedback?
A: Kull- Absolutely because they are our customers. We’ve done a couple of surveys that have gone out, we have remodals coming up so we’ve done forums at each of the campuses and invited the campus community to come and talk. So absolutely we listen, and if they wanna see something new, we can get it and try it, and if it doesn’t work we move on to the next thing. We try to adjust our offerings so it’s cookie cuttered to what people wanna buy here.
Q: On affordability, do you offer any options for in-need students?
A: Kull- We don’t have any program like that at this time. However we have worked in the past with Athletics.
Richards- On Fridays when we close we have a few items that won’t last through the weekend, but are good items. We will call the athletic department and say would you like this, because they do have athletes they bring in and they will take items. Another thing we’ve started this semester is donating to the veterans center at Downtown Campus, so we definitely share.
Kull- Pretty little waste comes out of here. If it’s something like grab and go that isn’t fresh food, we will clearance it out so students have low cost options there too before it expires rather than just keeping it low cost and throwing it away.
Richards- Our team lead here is really good about expiration dates, he has a chart and a plan. They know within a week if something is going to expire soon, and will put it on sale. Everyone knows where are sale items are and we do the same thing with our fresh foods.
Q:What’s some of the weirdest things you’ve seen while working here at Pima?
A: Richards-You know, people are different and you just accept them. They may dress different or something but that’s their personality. I wouldn’t say I have seen anything too weird.