September 21: Students Bringing Local Food to the Bullring Pub
On September 16, 2010, eight students will make history and mark a milestone in experiential learning and curriculum innovation at the University of Guelph while fostering sustainable commerce at the Bullring Pub. The day marks the first meeting of MGMT*4050 Applied Community Project, which will be fully launched with a guest presentation from Chef Yasser Qahawish, owner of the Artisanale Café and Bistro in downtown Guelph, a pioneer in local food cuisine in the city.
This management course brings together a carefully selected team of students from backgrounds as diverse as psychology, international development and hotel and food management to explore a question on the radar of many restaurateurs: how can their business support local food producers? Students will tackle that question through doing market research, financial analysis and qualitative interviews with Bullring staff, consumers and suppliers and working with local food actors on campus and in the Guelph region.
“This was such a great opportunity, I couldn’t not get involved,” says Bruce McAdams, professor in Hospitality and Tourism Management and one of the three faculty advisors for the course, along with Melanie Lang, director of the Co-operators Centre for Business and Social Entrepreneurship and Rumina Dhalla, professor in the Department of Business.
The course is coordinated by the Net Impact! Club Chapter on campus, which was awarded a Gordon Nixon Leadership Award last March for its forward thinking in this area. The award will cover logistical costs of the business research, as well as a $2500 Seed Initiative Fund as institutional support to bring more local food for the Bullring. This course is highly self-directed, and the students will work closely with the Bullring staff throughout the process. “Supporting local food across the seasons in our climate is a challenge, and it is also a real opportunity to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Hospitality Services at the University of Guelph have provided leadership on the issue of local food for the last 20 years, and we are hoping that this course will continue to inspire the campus community to take concrete actions for sustainability,” says Émanuèle Lapierre-Fortin, the Net Impact! Coordinator.
Émanuèle Lapierre-Fortin, Net Impact Coordinator