Opinion: Baldwin Doesn’t Deserve the Criticism

Baldwin Café in quiet before the Thursday lunch crowd piles in. Lately, Baldwin has been attempting to diversify their meals in order to appeal to more cultures in the student body (Photo by Taylor Dietz).

Baldwin Café is one out of three places to eat on Albion’s campus if you have a meal plan.  Students complain about Baldwin every day. 

Around Baldwin, there are posters about the principles of the Bon Appetit Management Company. One of these posters promotes supporting local farms and tells the students that their menus are built around the seasonality and availability of fresh, local ingredients.

Eating food made from fresh ingredients is healthier than eating frozen or processed food. According to the Washington Post, a fresh meal supplies more nutrients, hydration, healthful fats and enzymes in your diet. This is important to all people who care about what they put into their bodies.

Rachel Schott, a senior from Temperance, Mich., said, “I always get tempted to eat bad foods at Baldwin”

Most of the frequently asked questions  on the Bon Appetit website are  what healthy options are available at Baldwin and what people can do to eat healthier. In response, Bon Appetit  emphasizes that they use fresh vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains as featured ingredients in the meals they serve, all of which are locally and sustainably produced items.

Baldwin staff is also trained to focus on appropriate serving sizes, and they don’t condone extremely unhealthy options or large portions. Many students complain about the serving sizes at Baldwin, stating that they aren’t large enough. Giving appropriate serving sizes, however, is important. Even so, though,  given that everything in Baldwin is buffet-style, students can get as many servings as they want.

Baldwin is also the only buffet-style place on campus. Students can eat an unlimited amount of food for only one meal swipe. At home, for me personally, there’s a limited amount of food I can eat, and on top of that I have to worry about my family getting mad at me for eating all the cookies.

The biggest complaint about Baldwin, however, is that the food isn’t good, but Bon Appetit has to create meals that cater to students from a variety of backgrounds. This year, they have been trying harder to incorporate foods from different countries in their menus.Not only does it promote diversity, but it gives students the option to try foods that they may have never had before.

The global and classics sections at Baldwin have something different every day, allowing students to avoid eating the same foods repeatedly.  For students who don’t like surprises or just want to know what’s for dinner, the menu is posted online every day and can be sent to students’ emails. 

If students don’t like what’s on the menu for the day, Baldwin also offers consistent foods. They can  count on pizza and hamburgers to be served each day. The deli is also open almost every day, except for when they have special foods (the fondue bar which is the best thing ever). Even when this is the case,  they still have a section where students can make their own sandwiches.

The healthier options, like the vegan/vegetarian and salad bar, are always open during dining hours. Even though the vegan section could be bigger,the staff tries to make the food in this section as close to what they are serving in global and classics stations.

Even when options seem limited, students have the ability to be creative and do things such as making tuna fish sandwiches for lunch. 

If students really cannot find something they like, Baldwin has comment cards. The staff appreciates comments. These student reviews help them understand what students want more or less of.

Baldwin’s hours, in comparison to the dining halls of other colleges in the conference, are also much longer. Baldwin opens earlier than most in-conference schools, and it closes the latest out of all of them. 

Although Albion students do voice some valid complaints, when it comes down to it, Albion College could do a lot worse than Baldwin.

About Taylor Dietz 26 Articles
Taylor Dietz is a senior from Saint Clair Shores, Michigan. She is majoring in English and minoring in German. Going up north is her favorite hobby and will never say no to a slice of pizza.


  1. Literally state run media. I’m glad you guys are going deep into exposing the real problems facing the school. What a joke.

  2. I never disliked Baldwin, but as someone who grew to love the Fraternity cooks on campus, I think there are definitely room for more than just Bon Appetit. Having fraternity cooks on campus is not only an additional food option for students but a support system. Even for non-members like myself, I benefited from the cooks serving as caretakers, house supervisors, extra mother figures and supportive adult friends. The cooks at the fraternities are so much more than just meal makers. Wish Albion would listen to their alumni.

  3. Complaining about school cafeteria food, whether it is elementary, middle school, high school or college, is sort of an expectation of being a student. I know I did my fair share of complaining when I was an Albion Student, back in the 80’s when there was no such thing as pizza at every meal, no salad bar, and only one option in the cafeteria line. Now as an Albion College staff member, I am amazed at the options available, and usually able to find something I find good when I choose to eat in Baldwin. I particularly enjoy having the chance to try things I might not try on my own (like the vegetarian offerings) and have found some things that I liked that I never dreamt I would ever like. For example, Baldwin is the first place I ever had Brussel sprouts that I actually liked. Yes, there have been some not so good experiments as well, but by and large, I’m usually a happy, paying customer.

  4. Its not that people don’t like the food due to a diversity problem but because the food is not seasoned and is ALWAYS BLAND. As someone with a cultured background and with friends that are minorities it’s actually kind of offensive to have Baldwin botch so much food that is supposed to be make us feel appreciated. Next, the food we can “rely” on is not good day to day especially when it comes to the burgers not being fully cooked and the pizza not always being good. People get tired of relying on foods when their meal plans are +$3000. Baldwin is very hit or miss (heavy on the miss). I can write a book on the mishaps and bad quality myself or my friends have gotten our food in.

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