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Changes coming to Abbotsford campus food options

The Tim Hortons on Abbotsford campus, a popular between-classes food outlet and “UFV Problems” punching-bag, is potentially the site of changes following this semester.

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By Michael Scoular (The Cascade) – Email

Photo Credit Mitch Huttema

The Tim Hortons on Abbotsford campus, a popular between-classes food outlet and “UFV Problems” punching-bag, is potentially the site of changes following this semester.

Cameron Roy, the director of ancillary services, says the contract for food vendors on the Abbotsford campus is up this June, including the main cafeteria in B building, as well as the Roadrunner Cafe in A building. After collecting data on student interest through a focus group, Roy, with other UFV staff members, will review proposals from the food services industry this summer, with a goal of a new contract in place for Fall 2016. The current vendor is Sodexo.

“We’re obligated by procurement law to go to market on all of these contracts, and this one’s no exception,” Roy says.

The length of the expiring contract — 10 years — is part of why the Tim Hortons’ reputation is legendary in some circles. “When it was initially built, it was built for a smaller institution, a smaller student body,” Roy says. “It has become a success obviously, but almost a victim of its own success.”

In contrast to a newer Tim Hortons outlet at the Chilliwack campus at CEP, Abbotsford’s has only one sales till, leading to the familiar sight of long lineups snaking around the doors of the library building. “The waves of students that come in as the class blocks let out almost at the same time just [hit] the Tim Hortons all at once,” Roy says. “It’s like feast or famine.”

With the new proposals, Roy expects some significant improvements, as each vendor vies for the most appealing offer — to both the institution and students. “There will definitely be some suggestions on the physical layout,” he says.

With proposals from new vendors, there’s even the chance the Abbotsford campus could see entirely new food services — though Roy says it isn’t much of a chance, in the case of Tim Hortons.

“I’d be reluctant to suggest that Tim Hortons wouldn’t be a part of it because they’ve been so successful here at the university,” Roy says. “[But] we’re open for change, absolutely, no question about it, because the institution has grown over the last 10 years.”

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