Wells College's Express Cafe Wins National Award

July 16, 2013

Wells College and the Aurora Inn, Inc,. are proud to announce the Express Café—one of the Inn's dining entities at Wells College—as one of the bronze recipients for the 2013 Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards, given by The National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS). Named for a NACUFS founder, past president and highly regarded innovator, the Dining Awards celebrate exemplary menus, presentations, special event planning, and new dining concepts, and provide an avenue for sharing ideas and creative presentations in campus dining services.

More than 100 colleges and universities across North America submitted entries in six categories, including Residential Dining Concepts, Residential Dining—Special Event, Retail Sales—Single Concept, Retail Sales—Multiple Concepts/Market-place, Catering—Special Event, and Catering—Online Menu. A team of six judges examined each entry carefully and selected top candidates in each category.

“Winning a Loyal E. Horton Dining Award is the ultimate professional tribute to college and university culinary arts,” said Jack Donahue of North Dakota State University, the Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards chair. “It’s an honor that NACUFS members strive for; to be Dining Award winner.”

Each year’s contest entries are displayed at the NACUFS national conference and award winners are publically recognized at a luncheon culminating with the announcement of the Grand Prize winners. Grand Prize winners also receive recognition with a feature article in NACUFS’ magazine, Campus Dining Today.

Competing for one of these prestigious awards not only helps market the dining program as an award-winning program, it builds a sense of pride and team spirit within a dining staff. Sharing creativity and knowledge with other foodservice professionals is a key component to NACUFS membership.

Since its opening in 2009, the Express Café has become known for its friendly, knowledgeable baristas, its delicious homemade desserts, their grab-and-go meals, and their locally roasted coffee.

“It's been my pleasure getting to know the people of this community, especially the students of Wells College. To be able to share the experiences and growth with each other is a unique thing that only a college atmosphere can provide,” says Jessica Stanton, Express Café manager. “Despite the Express Cafe's size, we are continually growing and improving.  With the recognition from the NACUFS, I'm excited for the exchange of ideas between the Express Cafe staff and other operations around the nation!”

Wells Dining manages all food service on the Wells College campus in Aurora, New York. Current operations include the Wells College Dining Hall, the Express Café, the Backstage Grille, and Skillet & Embers Catering Company. In an effort to create a unique and high-quality dining experience for the Wells College community, Wells Dining has recruited some of the best chefs in Central New York. 

Wells Dining adheres to the highest standards of service and food quality, places emphasis on fresh, local ingredients and “from scratch” cooking, is committed to ecological sustainability, and is an enthusiastic participant in the global initiative to create less waste and consume fewer resources.

Founded in 1958, the National Association of College & University Food Services is the professional trade association for foodservice professionals at institutions of higher education in the United States, Canada, and abroad. NACUFS provides its more than 550 institutional and 500 industry members with educational, networking, and professional development opportunities and a variety of informational publications. NACUFS is also heavily involved in industry research.
The mission of NACUFS is to foster exceptional campus dining programs through a passion for food and by leadership in education, professional development, networking, information exchange, and innovation in a culture of volunteerism.


Supplied by Meryl Davis, director of marketing for the Inns of Aurora.


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