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After growing up in Nebraska, the land of corn and cattle, I didn’t hear the term “sustainability” until I enrolled at Willamette University in Salem, OR, in 2006. And not until my sophomore year did I really connect the need for sustainability to the food system.

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Even though Café Target is on the second floor of the Target Headquarters office towers in Minneapolis, it has the freshest herbs growing onsite — thanks to a customized vertical planting wall.

A spotlight on Emmanuel College Chef/Manager Peter Fernandes, one of our employees who started at the entry level then worked his way up to a managerial/chef position. “I tell everyone that even though they might be starting in the dishroom, they can still learn something. Just stand next to someone and ask them to show you what they’re doing, or if they don’t have time to show you, ask if you can watch,” explains Peter.

Editor’s Note: Midwest Fellow S.K. Piper’s two-year stint has come to an end, and we are happy to announce that she will be remaining with Bon Appétit Management Company as our sustainability manager at Denison University. Please welcome the new BAMCO Foundation Midwest Fellow and the BAMCO blog’s newest contributor, Alyse Festenstein!

Farm to Fork took on a whole new meaning — and a much shorter distance—this spring and summer at Regis University in Denver, as gardens planted and tended by Bon Appétit staff members yielded bounties for the kitchen.

How Bon Appétit Management Company defines “food service for a sustainable future,” that tagline that follows our company name, also defines our very identity as a company. In honor of our quarter-century anniversary, we asked our employees and others to brainstorm with us. Here’s the result.

Birthdays are a great time for reflection. When Bon Appétit Management Company was founded 25 years ago, in 1987, our priorities were cooking restaurant-quality food from scratch using the freshest ingredients, and delivering outstanding customer service. In 2004, we formally committed to sustainability, which we defined as “food choices that celebrate flavor, affirm regional cultural traditions, and support local communities without compromising air, water or soil, now and in the future.” We’ve been looking ahead to our next 25 years, and asking our teams around the country — and our guests — for their input on what should be next.