Manndible Contract Renewed
Five years ago, a new café opened in the newly renovated Mann Library, featuring locally grown food and products, and one of the first campus eateries to use 100% compostable material. Named Manndible Café, it offered healthy salads, sandwiches, and a burrito bar with vegan and vegetarian options. Ithaca business partners and co-owners, Pam Gueldner and Kathleen Pasetty, submitted the proposal for an eco-friendly café back in 2007, and, among the many that came in, their proposal stood out because they stressed the importance of sustainability, diversity in menu options, and unique choices on campus.
Since opening, Manndible’s fan base has been broad and enthusiastic, and there are many in the Ag Quad community who will be thrilled to learn that the Café’s contract has been renewed for another five years. “It's a great feeling. After working on this renewal since January, it's a relief to have the process completed” said Pasetty.
Word of the contract renewal came just in time for a big birthday bash that happened on October 25th, when Manndible Café and Mann Library celebrated their 5th and 60th anniversaries together with a huge crowd in the library’s lobby. Talented pastry chef Paul Kellems created two inspirational cakes--a replica of two stacked leather bound manuscripts and a delicious vanilla iced vegan cake. Students, staff, and faculty lined up in the hundreds to sample the cake, eat ice cream, and enjoy some fun party favor giveaways from Mann Library.
Asked how things have changed over the past five years, Pasetty answers: “We have learned a lot! We've seen the impact of price changes, the impact of posing a credit/debit card minimum, and the results of being responsive to customers' complaints and questions. We've watched a relationship build between customers and our staff that is fun and seems to feed people on both sides of the counter.” As a small business, Manndible Café enjoys the advantage of being flexible with menu options and responsive. Stressing the importance of friendly but efficient customer service, Pasetty said “having fun while moving the lines can be challenging but I'm super proud of our staff for how they do it.” They are also thankful for how supportive and helpful Mann Library staff have been over the years, giving them feedback frequently in a thoughtful way.
So Manndible enthusiasts, rest easy! For the coming five years, you’ll continue to enjoy freshly brewed
Gimme! coffee and other beverage favorites (both hot and cold), a large selections of baked goods baked in Manndible’s own kitchens and places like Blue Wave Pastry, and a great variety of healthy meals, including Manndible’s ever popular customizable burritos, homemade soups and a much anticipated new item on the menu: the Friday Curry Bar.
Owners Gueldner and Pasetty hope to keep the business stable and healthy for many years to come. “We love it here and look forward to 5 more years of being a haven of local foods.”