Welcome Back! We can’t wait to serve you.

Welcome Back! We can’t wait to serve you.

Welcome Back! We can’t wait to serve you.

I hope everyone had a great holiday and enjoyed time with your family and friends.  Sunday afternoon, I toured the Southwest area with Garett DiStefano, director of residential dining, to ensure that we are ready to serve you. It was so nice to see you again and in many cases, your family as well.  We have many exciting changes for this semester that I can hardly wait to tell you about. Here is a sampling.

1.     Healthy Food and Certified Status. We heard from you that you want food the tastes good and is also good for you. New this semester, we are partnering with SPE Certified, a highly regarded health food certifier based in New York, so that we will be able to offer “certified” healthier and great tasting dishes daily. There will be special promotion on Tuesday, January 22, at Berkshire DC. I encourage you to try some of these nutrient-dense foods – I think you will fall in love with them.

2.     Our weekly specials are getting bigger and better. We know you love special events and the more the better. Our guest chef series provides excitement along with a special menu that is sure to please. The popular Flavors of Canada has expanded to 7 schools. Imagine fourteen chefs from seven Canadian Universities are coming together under one roof to cook for you for one night. I for one, can’t wait.

3.      “Hampden” DC is now open at the Southwest Café. It should be a nice and ‘comfy’ place.  During the renovation of Hampshire DC, we are turning the Southwest Café into a DC of sorts, with a buffet style, plus grab-n-go option daily from 11:00 am to 8:30 pm. For the Hampshire  Burrito lovers, we plan to offer it daily between 2 and 5 pm. Come and say “Hello” to the friendly staff from Hampshire. They are looking forward to now serving you at the Southwest Café.

4.     Berkshire DC is now open for breakfast daily from 7:00 am to midnight for your dining preferences. We have extra seating available during the meal hours at the  Malcolm X Cultural Center, a short trek downstairs.

5.     The second food truck, Baby Berk 2 has arrived and is ready to roll; Baby Berk and Baby Beck 2 will be cruising along in the Southwest area for added excitement and to compliment DC dining. Please Note: During the Hampshire renovation you can use your meal swipes during the regular mealtime hours (11:00 am – 1 pm and 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm).

6.     Later this month, we will be rolling out a fresh-squeezed juice program in the morning. Fresh, pure and all natural juice, a great way to start your day. We all love juice especially if it is freshly squeezed in front of you. Watch for it!


Thank you for your support and patience as we have begun renovating the Hampshire DC during this semester to better serve you. While we are all looking forward to the new and the state-of-the-art Hampshire DC in September, we apologize for any inconvenience. It will be worth the wait, I promise!

This is Ken Toong. Thank you for keeping UMass Dining at the top.


Contact Ken at [email protected]

You can follow Ken Toong on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/KenToong

Blog Category: 
Author Name: 
Ken Toong
Author Title: 
Executive Director Auxiliary Enterprises

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE/UMASS DINING OPERATIONS FAQ: UMass Dining is committed to the health & safety of our students, faculty and staff. We are following guidelines set by our local, state and national health officials; we routinely monitor our dining facilities; we have implemented additional sanitation measures to ensure customer safety; and we are in constant contact with the campus community.