If you’ve been on campus lately, you’ve likely noticed some major changes to the Meeting Point café and bookstore. We recently caught up with Sam Lucas, the Meeting Point’s manager, to get the details on upgrades to seating options, changes to the menu, and what’s in store for the café in 2014.
Sam, can you talk a little bit about your background and what brought you to MUIH?
I’ve been working in the food industry for about eight years. Prior to joining MUIH, I managed a coffee shop and a couple of restaurants in the Annapolis area. I also have a culinary degree from L’Academie de Cuisine and also have experience working as a pastry chef at a catering company and cafe.
MUIH’s tight-knit community and family environment drew me here and I was excited at the prospect of helping the University make some significant changes to the Meeting Point.
For readers who haven’t stopped by the Meeting Point recently, what are the changes that you and your team have made to the café and bookstore? And why did you decide to make these changes and upgrades?
In early December we began giving the café a “facelift.” We changed its setup around to make it into more of a working café with an inviting coffee shop type atmosphere; we added a high top bar with plenty of electrical outlets to allow for more seating and for students to study and use their laptops.
In terms of the menu, we’ve expanded the offerings, allowing for made-to-order sandwiches and fresh salads as opposed to the pre-made ones we used to offer. And as much as possible, we use organic ingredients as well as nitrate-free lunch meats.
What’s the feedback been so far?
The feedback on our changes has been wonderful! Everyone seems very excited. It has been a little slow getting everyone used to the new options for ordering food, but overall the response has been very positive.
Do you plan on making any further changes or upgrades in the months ahead?
We are working hard to also expand our catering options to better serve the school community, and would like to cater more events for the University.
We would also like to expand the drink options to offer smoothies and possibly add an espresso machine. We’re looking into our options and the different possibilities to see what will work best for us and will be most welcomed by the students and faculty.
What “purpose” do you see the Meeting Point ultimately serving for the MUIH community?
The Meeting Point is becoming more of a gathering place for socializing and less of a traditional bookstore. While we still sell books from program book lists, we’re just downsizing the options a little bit.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
We love getting any feedback from the MUIH community about what they’d like to see at the Meeting Point. For instance, would people like if we served smoothies or more warm drinks? We’re always open to any suggestions!