Bloomingfoods to open new outlet Monday at Ivy Tech

Food co-op’s new location merges a convenience store with a cafe — only healthier

By Mike Leonard
331-4368 | mleonard@heraldt.com
April 21, 2013

The perpetual grin on Alan Simmerman’s face gave some indication this week that he’s pleased with the newest Bloomingfoods location on the Ivy Tech-Bloomington campus.

He gestured toward the coffee station, noted that the supplier is Brown County Coffee Co. and said there will be a dispenser in place that provides natural cane-based sweeteners without dyes or additives.

Like a tour guide, he walked over to the “made to order” food station and said breakfast foods from biscuits and gravy to an egg and avocado sandwich will be offered, as will classic lunch sandwiches and hot paninis.

Moving over to the grocery shelves, he pointed to paper towels, dishwashing soap, cereals and flour; and frozen food including ice cream, organic burritos and waffles.

And then there are the snacks: nuts, seeds, Clif Bars and Fair Trade chocolate.

“This is a new deal for us,” the fresh foods manager for Bloomingfoods said. “It’s kind of a grocery store meets convenience store meets cafe concept, only healthier and a little more green than what you’ll find elsewhere.”

Late last week, store employees were still putting the finishing touches on the “Bfoods Ivy Tech” location inside the Connie and Steve Ferguson Academic Building. Announced last winter, the cafe and convenience store will open for business on Monday.

“There’s more in here than I thought you could squeeze into a space this size,” said Chancellor John Whikehart. “I’m really pleased, and I can tell you that a lot of students, faculty and staff have been asking for some time now, ‘When’s it going to open?’”

Primarily designed to serve Ivy Tech students on Bloomington’s west side, the store also will be open to and welcoming of the general public, including employees at nearby Cook Inc. and Park 48 businesses and patrons of the future YMCA.

“Obviously, it’s not a full-service grocery and, with a lot of things, there’s just one kind of paper towel, one kind of sugar, that sort of thing,” Simmerman said. “But there is enough here that if you’re on your way home from work, you’ll be able to grab something for dinner and breakfast in the morning as well.”

“We’re really trying to tailor it to the needs of the people who will be using it,” said Rodney Schmidt, one of the store managers. “That’s why we’re having kind of a soft opening, so we can start getting a better idea over time about what works and what could be improved.”

Bloomingfoods’ new store at Ivy Tech Community College just west of Bloomington. David Snodgress | Herald-Times

Copyright: HeraldTimesOnline.com 2013


About Ivy Tech Community College

Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.