CWU News

Dining Services partners with local businesses

CWU is buying local. University officials say a sweeping revamp of campus dining services includes a commitment to incorporate local vendors as much as possible.

“We’ve always utilized a number of local businesses and vendors as our suppliers but we’ve never publicized it much,” said Joel Klucking, associate vice president of finance and business auxiliaries. “We’re proud of those relationships and want to draw attention to our strong ties to the community.”

Klucking said the university turned to several local and regional businesses to help with the updating and modernizing of the school’s dining areas. Additionally, a number of local vendors serve as food service suppliers for the new dining options.

For example, he said D & M Coffee of Ellensburg—the exclusive CWU coffee provider for more than a decade—is helping to design a new coffee bar/lounge, known as 1891 Bistro, and will supply the coffee products.

Other long term local vendors include Winegar’s ice cream, which will stock a 12-scoop ice cream bar in the Bistro, and ABC Donuts, which provides all the donuts on campus. Shirt Works is assisting with logo design for the new food stations.

“Because we’re a local business we appreciate that Central wanted to work with us as a local business,” said Mark Holloway, owner of D & M Coffee. “This was just a great opportunity to do something that is fun.”

The $500,000 project, which will be completed in mid-October, will refresh two CWU dining areas, the Tunstall Dining Commons, previously known as Wellington’s Café, and the Holmes Dining Room, with an eye toward comfort and cuisine.

Patrick Stanton, director of business planning and budget/auxiliary accounting, said a key aspect of the redesign was student involvement.

 “We know that the key to long term success is student satisfaction,” Stanton said. “We began the refresh process by asking students what they would like to see. We held focus groups, conducted a campus wide student survey, and other basic student outreach, including conversations with student government.”

He said among the things students wanted were more comfortable dining settings as well as more and different food choices.

In response, university food services developed several new dining choices including the 1891 Bistro as well as five new eating venues with offerings ranging from gluten-free, allergen-free dining to all-day breakfast.

“Our goal is to keep things fresh and vibrant so the students will want to eat here,” Stanton said. “And, I think, with student involvement, we’re doing that.”

Media contact: Rich Moreno, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-2714,

September 16, 2015