What’s so Fresh about Fresh Ideas? An insight into the quality of our food

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“Lets cook up something great” is the motto that Fresh Ideas advertises on their website. Something is definitely cooking, but it might not be that great. Food is something that takes top priority (sometimes even over that assignment due at 11:59), so it is extremely important that we enjoy the quality of the food served at the place that we pay thousands of dollars to attend.

Students are often disappointed to find the

Pictured is a moldy gluten-free sandwich hand-made in Gander.

food they paid top-dollar for doesn’t taste great, or even worse, has already gone bad. Fresh Idea’s isn’t a five-star restaurant, but the quality of food should be higher than the typical standard. Allergen labels are inconsistent at best and have resulted in multiple students missing class for allergic reactions.  


A twitter survey conducted by Pawprint revealed these results.


So what do you think about Gander’s food?

“Honestly, if I haven’t pooped in a couple of days I go get something from the grill,” an anonymous source stated.

“It’s good for what it is but after awhile it gets tiring.” said Olivia Hurley, freshman.

“I like Gander’s food, but I think they can change up a little more” said Allie Czeschin.


Praising to Balance out the Criticisms

Back in the old days, or at least 4 years ago, Fresh Ideas was something that we couldn’t even fathom.  There weren’t very many gluten-free options and the baked potato bar was something many could only dream of. Home Zone definitely wasn’t on the level that it is on now. The options now include a wide variety of international foods, as well as themed foods for certain holidays, such as Mardi Gras, and the Cardinal’s season opening. La Comida didn’t exist. Stir-fry could definitely have used some work. Now all these aspects are regulars and the grill has weekly specials to prevent it from getting too monotonous.  

One of the largest changes that Fresh Ideas made is allowing students to use their dining dollars in the M Store. When asked about how she felt about it, M-Store manager Kate Ritter stated, “ I think it’s great, we’ve been trying to put this in the bookstore for a long time, so that students can utilize their money for the food that e have here because it is different from the food found on the rest of campus. It’s great, I love it!”  It leads to the question of what next? How can they improve more? There is always potential to grow.

When asked what they would like to see from Fresh Idea’s many students offered a few suggestions.

“I wish that there would be more options at the grill, not all fried foods,” said Rachel Cochran, junior.

“More options at the Mexican,” said Ellen Gray, junior.


One thing that Fresh Ideas is extremely dedicated to is hearing the voice of their consumers. There are various ways that faculty, staff and students can voice their opinions. One of them is via the suggestion box located in Gander Hall. Another way is through a member of the food committee dedicated simply to representing the student population on campus.

“One thing that the food committee tries to do is get the opinions from the students, the committee comprises of different people with different perspectives. If more people, Maryville Staff and students spoke up about what they want to see. LJ’s is a result of the food committee listening to the voices of the students who wanted more late night options, all of the food served there was picked for students by students,” stated Wendy Nghixulifwa, a food committee member.  A third option, is at Maryville Student Government Town Hall meetings, where you can voice your opinions. The next Town Hall meeting of the semester hasn’t been announced yet, but Pawprint will definitely keep you updated!  

Share your opinions on Fresh Ideas, tweet us @MvillePawprint!

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