Students and faculty’s requests for new food options on campus will be answered at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 6 when the food court is reopened with Falafelicious Catering as its vendor.
The Falafelicious Catering food truck was one of the three food trucks at Pierce this past year. It’s menu will not change at the food truck, but new dishes will be available at its second on-campus location.
“Everything happened fast and we’ve been trying to get in for the past two years and finally we got the okay,” Falafelicious Catering owner Ofir Bass said.
According to Bass, his team had to work 24 hours a day to clean up and to make sure the equipment is running and ready for operation.
He plans to have two out of the five stations operating and serving Mexican and Italian food respectively. He then hopes to open a coffee station push for a quiet area for students to study.
“Even if you buy food from outside, it’s still a great place to eat,” Bass said. “Everybody’s more than welcome. It’s a common area. You don’t have to buy anything and you can just hang out.”
The hours of service will be from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Fridays to accommodate the schedules of students. These hours might change depending on how fall semester goes for the business.
“I remember when I was a student, all I wanted was an air conditioned environment and an affordable healthy meal,” Bass said. “I don’t think it’s too much to ask for if you’ve been going to school for a couple of years.”
He also added that there will be offering breakfast and dinner for people to choose from along with weekly specials.
The prices, according to Bass, will be similar to how the Falafelicious Catering food truck calculates the total with a round number.
The opportunity to have a vendor operate the food court is a result of the actions of the Associated Student Organization (ASO), faculty and staff who worked toward this goal not just locally here in the area but at the district level as well, according to ASO President Barbara Lombrano.
“Ultimately, (district) have say so on what happens on our campuses when it comes to contracts among other things,” Lombrano said. “I think it’s great that the Board of Trustees finally saw that each campus is different and it would be hard to have one vendor across the board because each campus is so individualized on how it’s run and the environment around it.”
Associate Vice President Larry Kraus said we activated this through the Board of Trustees, the college’s approval and a Request For Proposals (RFP). The college obtained submittals and a ranking committee composed of faculty, staff and students dwindled down the bids until one was agreed upon based upon certain criteria.
“Once we learned that Valley College was to have their food operator we jumped on board,” Kraus said. “‘I said we are going to do it.’”
According to Lombrano, this is an opportunity for students to engage even further into the programs on campus as a result of access to a variety of food. Students can spend more time studying or being involved since there’s less of a problem buying food.
“All the people who work at Pierce College that take care of the facility were beyond helpful,” Bass said. “You don’t feel like you’re on your own. People want it to be open and for me it’s the biggest thing.”