Alumnus, Vincent Clark has been running the food centre since 2018. He has seen some big changes in this short time, with the new build moving him out of the old canteen (to the old Samoan common room) and COVID closing him for a while.
Despite the challenges, Vinnie and his 2IC Satomi run a very progressive food centre. Right from the get go, Vinnie has been looking to improve the quality of the food and remove non sustainable items. The drinks in plastic bottles went some time ago, but recently Vinnie has achieved 100% zero waste to landfill at the “front of house”. No gladwrap, no plastic containers or cutlery and no plastic bottles. We think this may be a first for a school food centre!
Much of the food is made on site and with a focus on providing healthy options. Delicious homemade soup is a favourite in winter, plus they have noodle bowl Wednesdays, pizza Thursdays and sushi Fridays. Lots of options are always available for vegetarians and vegans.
Here is what our students and staff have to say…
I’m vegan and personally have always been so grateful for the continual growth in vegan options. Vinnie is always very accommodating and always lets us know if there are other options and what’s available.
Ruby Gieson – Year 13
I work at Springs / Waiōrea because our mission statement & our values are completely in line with what I think is key to a happy, healthy, functioning society. I am so proud of Vinnie & Satomi not just rising to the challenge of reducing waste to landfill but actually eliminating it from the front of house. Next step reuseable serveware!
I think that Vinnie has done a wonderful job trying to reduce the waste that the canteen produces. One thing that I like are the sandwiches, they are tasty and healthy. Recently I bought a sandwich out of hunger, despite it just being a salad and cheese between a bun, it was extremely beautiful – the brie/camembert with the avocado and the sauce is awesome. Another thing is instead of opting for the typical choice of gladwrapping the sandwich, it is kept together with a bamboo skewer and semi wrapped with a piece of brown paper. This may seem like a small thing, but if you think about it, the canteen sells 40 sandwiches a day. If we were to gladwrap each sandwich, that would be so much unnecessary plastic for such a short time of use. So choosing this option is such a big deal because it significantly reduces the amount of plastic that the canteen will produce.
Minh Anh Tran – Year 11
Vinnie and Satomi seek feedback on what is offered at the cafeteria and are constantly introducing new items and specials. To be plastic free aligns with our school values and we are very proud of our cafeteria and the fact that they make most of the food onsite.
Julie Debreceny – Teacher