Baldwin has gone through major changes in the last eight months. While the students seem to have overall positive feelings and are adjusting quickly, Baldwin’s staff are equally critical judges and have been responding well.
Mary Johnson, a Baldwin employee for 34 years, is excited about the café’s new look.
“I love it,” Johnson said. “All of the new equipment is beautiful. The new look is gaining the interest of faculty and students alike.”
The dining staff and cooks are happy, and not only for the new amenities. Vanessa Powell, an expo cook in the kitchen, enjoys the student interaction she gains from the renovation.
“I like the face-to-face contact I get with the students now that the grill is facing the other direction,” Powell said.
Lauffer and the staff believe the more interactive setup will be a positive experience for staff and students. The new equipment helps the cooks and students have healthier lifestyles.
“The experience is more interactive now than ever,” Lauffer said. “Our cooks that make their options from scratch, get to answer any questions or address any concerns guests may have as they have an intimate knowledge of the ingredients used and how it is prepared.”
The staff is proud of how the renovation went. Everything ran smoothly quite impressively. David Lauffer, Baldwin’s general manager, agrees that while it does look and operate wonderfully, it is still a major transition for everyone.
“As always, with something new, change has to be implemented,” Lauffer said. “The dining staff have really come together and embraced the changes and different stations.”
Baldwin has been fine-tuned with smaller changes that have not gone unnoticed by the staff.
“I think a great benefit is the smaller-sized plates in the café,” Powell said. “It helps us have more control serving the students proper portion sizes, and of course it’s less waste.”
It seems everyone has embraced a sizable change. Baldwin’s reconstruction has appeared to brighten peoples’ meal experiences, and it may now be a staple of Albion’s campus.
“We all have to get reorganized,” Powell said. “There are no real drawbacks to the renovation. It will only get better with time.”
Photos by Hannah Litvan and Kristina Vilders