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ESU Welcomes Fresh Ideas to Lead Dining Services

Fresh Ideas logo

The new food service vendor at Emporia State University was chosen for its expertise with smaller clients.

“Fresh Ideas is known for fresh, made-from-scratch food and excellent customer service,” Carmen Leeds, director of ESU’s Memorial Union. “We are excited for the plans they have shared with us.”

The transition to the new vendor begins Saturday, May 11. At that time, all food service on campus will be shut down to allow for professional cleaning and for Fresh Ideas to bring in equipment, supplies and staff. The catering office will also be offline.

The focus through the end of May is to meet obligations for three events: Hornet Connection for enrolling new students for fall 2024, the NCAA Division II Track and Field Championships and Unbound riders who will stay in ESU residence halls. Memorial Union staff have begun reaching out to planners of summer events with existing catering orders. Fresh Ideas will take over these events.

The Fresh Ideas team at ESU will be led by Mitch Pinkelman, regional director of operations. Additionally, Fresh Ideas will interview current dining staff to promote continuity throughout the upcoming transition.

Fresh Ideas prides itself on responding to the latest food industry trends and dietary needs of their customers. They’re equipped with 24 years of experience working as a collaborator to prepare a vast array of balanced meal options for their partners. Fresh Ideas will introduce several new programs and dining options to campus next fall. They include the following:

  • All new dining concepts focused on serving fresh, flavorful foods.
  • A new dining-focused mobile app called FreshX.
  • New retail food options inside the Hornet Express.
  • New technology including a 24/7 fresh food vending machine and more.

Fresh Ideas Vice President of Operations Brian Dittmer said, “Fresh Ideas looks forward to our partnership with Emporia State University and creating a dynamic and engaging program for the students. We appreciate the opportunity to serve not only the students and faculty, but also the greater Emporia, Kansas, community.”