This November, a new coffee and sandwich shop, Fresh Farms Café, will fill the vacancy under College Row across from CVS Pharmacy.
“We are really excited to come to College Row and be part of the F&M and Lancaster community,” said Jen Cohen, marketing director for Fresh Farms Café. “We’ve already heard so much from students, residents, and others who live and work around College Row that they can’t wait for our fresh and healthy menu.”
Barry Bosley, associate vice president for administration, thinks the café will be a great fit for the space.
“Fresh Farms Café is a great concept,” Bosley said. “They are in the space that has always been designated as the coffee shop in the original layout for the space. That is a great location for a coffee shop, but it has taken quite awhile for us to find the quality to go into that space.”
The Café is not related to Sodexo, so students will not be able to use their dip deals or flex dollars. However, the restaurant has inquired about Ben’s Bucks.
Students, in addition to hoping for Ben’s Bucks availability, are also concerned about environmental issues. Bosley believes the Fresh Farms Café is comparable to ZeBi in its commitment to sustainability.
“The whole farm fresh concept is about environmentally conscious behavior,” Bosley said. “Everything is biodegradable and they buy all their resources locally.”
“One of the great features of our company is our commitment to using environmentally friendly practices,” Cohen added. For example, the wood paneling on the walls is reclaimed barnwood. We also use local suppliers to ensure we serve the freshest food we can,” Cohen said. “We hope we’ve made a place where everyone can come to get a flavorful and freshly-made meal just for them in a comfortable, fun, and family friendly environment.”
To quell another worry, the Café will also be able to accommodate a large amount of customers, with 48 inside seats and 30 outside seats.
Fresh Farms Café was brought to campus through a series of decisions made by College Row and the administration.
When a space becomes available for retail under College Row, College Row contracts with a leasing company to put it on an availability list. Interested parties can then work out a preliminary agreement with College Row. After a preliminary agreement, the College approves or denies the agreement.
“If it fits within the parameters we’ve already agreed to, we’ll approve it,” Bosley said. “There’s a laundry list of what we won’t approve, such as tattoo parlors for example. We retain the right to approve any business. [College Row is] committed and we’re committed to maintaining a high-end storefront.”
According to Bosley, there are no current plans to fill the vacancy created by the closing of Sodexo-owned WOW Wingery last year.
“We’ve had some inquiries, mostly restaurant stuff,” Bosley said. “It’s a tough economy still so it’s pretty challenging out there, especially for start-up businesses. If we could, we’d want to find a regional or national player that’s interested. The challenge is Lancaster is a certain demographic. Some of the bigger boys aren’t interested in exploring the location.”
More information about the Fresh Farms Café is available at www.freshfarmscafe.net. The site also lists the menu.
“Fresh Farms Café is a fast casual restaurant offering fresh and healthy menu options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner,” Cohen said. “With a focus on freshly made food, most items are made in-house and all are served in an environmentally friendly manner.”
“The menu includes house -made soups, hand-pattied burgers, made to order paninis, wraps, and salads,” Cohen added. “There is also a variety of specialty drinks, including espressos and smoothies.”
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