Hampshire Dining Commons is arguably the most sustainable dining commons in the country. On April 13, 2015 at the SCUP 2015 North Atlantic Regional Conference in Providence, Bergmeyer presented a workshop, alongside representatives from UMass and Ricca Design Studios, to share how this landmark facility benefits the institution, student body, and local community. The project was recently awarded LEED Gold and is the most visible component in a wide, regional network of farmers, students, educators, and foodservice operators working together to improve the health and wellbeing of the entire Berkshire Valley.
Presenting from UMass Amherst was Garett DiStefano, Director of Residential Dining. Garett is passionate in his commitment to the success of UMass Dining’s mission: healthful, sustainable, world cuisine and building a community around food. Garett is responsible for all operational and service aspects of the University’s Residential Dining Program— the largest division of the $85 million UMass Dining the largest self-operated program in the nation. The award winning program serves over 5.5 million meals annually.
Representing Bergmeyer was Matthew Hyatt, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP BD+C, a Principal of the firm. Matt directs a number of diverse design teams through research, idea generation, concept development, and execution of Bergmeyer’s university and dining interior architecture projects. His ability to seamlessly weave sustainability into designs has resulted in LEED certification where it hasn’t been achieved before. He encourages the contribution of all stakeholders as critical participants in Bergmeyer’s widely-inclusive design process.
Ricca Design Studios was represented by Heidi Kunsman, a Principal and Director of Marketing who connects with clients across multiple markets. Ricca Design Studios is a culinary design firm that truly understands the front-of-house and back-of-house components that define the dining experience. They are passionate about their work and their clients. They possess a deep knowledge of day to day restaurant operations. Their market diversity and international experience allow them to bring new, innovative ideas to the table.
During the workshop, attendees were offering an overview on how to:
- Build their university’s educational programs around sustainability, nutrition, and food justice
- Spur a food delivery system that can benefit all foodservice programs in the region
- Showcase healthy eating as a student recruitment tool
- Increase revenue through increased meal plan participation