The University of Connecticut Storrs campus opened its first plant-based café late last month, located in the Wilbur Cross building.
The café, known as CrossRoads, features plant-based food options as well as gluten-free options, such as sandwiches, salads, desserts and build-your-own yogurt bowls.
Although vegan and vegetarian options are available at each dining facility on campus, Dining Services saw an opportunity “to bring additional exposure and availability of the great tasting plant-based products that are on the market to the flexitarians on campus, along with creating an education component on the health and sustainability aspects of a plant-forward diet,” according to the press release.
The idea for a plant-based café was proposed by UConn student Madelyn Pickett last year. She reached out to Dining Services, who then sent out a survey to the campus community. Thousands of students supported the idea, and even participated in a menu-tasting last March.
Dining Services wanted to keep elements of the cafe centered around student involvement, according to the press release. So, CrossRoads’ logo was also created by UConn student Jared Beltz, a graphic designer and friend of Pickett’s. Beltz developed the café’s logo, branding guide and color palette.
The café was remodeled this summer with wood, photography and plants from the UConn Horticulture Club. The high-top tables and lounge space also allows students to dine and study.
CrossRoads’ daily menu can be found here.
Pickett has created a student-led CrossRoads Events Management Committee that strives to spread awareness on several subtopics of sustainability, including sustainable farming, alternative proteins and nutrition. If you would like to join the committee, contact Pickett at firstname.lastname@example.org.