Sodexo starts the semester off right with new snack options


Abby Ludwig

Pictured are some of the new options Subconnection is offering.

by Abby Ludwig, Staff Reporter

Simpson started the semester off right by giving some new snacking options to students. 

Julia Neer, the regional general manager and the main point of contact between Sodexo, Simpson’s main food services company, and the rest of Simpson College, was in charge of putting things together. Neer oversees the residential program Pfeiffer Dining Hall and the retail programs such as the dining areas in Kent.

Neer says these new options partially came directly from corporate and Sodexo’s partnership with The Coca-Cola Co. and partly from the team working with Simpson. This team includes Neer herself as well as Ben Nelson and an executive chef.

Neer also said, “We use our food committee on campus to kind of get ideas from other students about what they’re wanting to see.”

Neer says she’s been working with Simpson for about two years and has talked to the Dean of students, Luke Behaunek, about the demand for a c-store (convenience store).

“Whether that’s the snack items, whether that’s the vegan options or gluten-free options,” Neer said.

“We’ve also heard students talking about how they wanted detergent, toothpaste, and things like that,” Neer said. “Because who wants to go all the way to Walmart when we live in Iowa, and the weather stinks, right? So it’s just convenient to have it right there and to use your meal plan.”

“Luke [Behaunek] sits with me on the food committee,” Neer said, “and he kind of pushes the students to give us some answers and kind of helps bring in that focus.”

Neer also mentioned that the Vice President of SGA, Chase Henry, is a good advocate for the student body.

“The biggest thing that we noticed by bringing Sub Connection in verses ABP was that Sub Connection is a Sodexo brand,” Neer explained, “we were able to put anything inside of that C-store that we felt was needed by having Sub Connection. That was a huge change for us and a huge roll-out to be able to listen to the students and make those changes.”

Neer said that her team had met with both vegans and gluten-free students on campus to bring in more food options that are vegan and gluten-free friendly.

Neer also said that her team noticed many athletes who needed better grab and go options. 

“What we also realized is there are some athletes that were getting out of practice at seven and just wanted to pick up a sandwich and go because they’re tired,” Neer said.

Neer said that her team is always looking at what’s popular and takes pictures of other college campuses dining areas at places like Drake University and St. Ambrose University.

“We do a lot of research on what’s popular and what other campuses are doing and how can we be a couple [of] steps ahead of that,” Neer said.

Neer said that something else that Simpson and Sodexo are working on is Pfeiffer Dining Hall. Neer said she couldn’t give away too many details but that her team is looking in the future “to enhance the aesthetics of Pfeiffer.”