Healthy, nutritious food is the order of the day at Agora Cafe, a volunteer-run, non-profit café that provides affordable, good-for-you food choices while offering training in food service and business management to students.
More than 100 LFS student volunteers keep Agora running smoothly. Volunteers must commit to one shift – two hours per week – and roles range from general volunteer and prep shift leaders to management.
Alvin Tejuco has been part of the Agora team since 2006. Last year, he took on the role of General Manager with fellow Dietetics student Jing Cheng.
“We have ten managers who cover everything from finance, inventory, human resources, web and technology to café development,” said Tejuco.
With the support of their management team, Cheng and Tejuco have implemented many changes, some of them based on Tejuco’s experience in kitchens and food service areas. “We looked at how other organizations run their operations and we modeled Agora after them,” he said.
Other changes included new equipment to help streamline the food preparation process. “We purchased a toaster oven, a drink fridge, a coffee machine and a water filter system,” said Cheng.
Agora Café uses local, organic ingredients and features freshly prepared quiche, lasagna, soup and baked goods – like their famous granola bars.
“We try to incorporate as much produce from UBC Farm and LFS Orchard Garden as possible,” said Cheng, adding that volunteers processed fruits and vegetables last summer for use in the winter.
Located in the basement of the MacMillan building (2357 Main Mall), Agora Cafe is open Monday-Friday from 9:30am-3pm during the Fall/Winter semester.
Visit the Agora website: http://blogs.ubc.ca/agora/