What should replace the Bread Factory in the cafeteria?

A space amidst the crowded cafeteria remains vacant since the Bread Factory was abruptly evicted last semester. What was once a go-to eating destination between classes has turned into no man’s land.

We’re now well into the fall semester, and some of us are wondering when and what will replace the former shop. Known for it’s inexpensive, fast and friendly service (not to mention a good assortment of food and beverages), students continue to feel the void of its absence while resorting to less than satisfactory foods.

Santa Monica College student Shadi Bandari admits she goes “off campus to eat because there’s not many appetizing choices anymore.”

So, what do students want to see the Bread Factory replaced with?

After asking a number of students, those who eat in the cafeteria regularly as well as others who never do, a consensus has been made of hoping to see a new food spot implemented in the near future. A very reasonable preference considering it is a cafeteria after all.

As for what type of food students are hoping for, many responded differently.

“Smoothies! And panini’s! Oh, and maybe some healthy food, too… but not just a salad bar, something a little more exciting,” said SMC student Linnea Svensson, “definitely not all that processed crap I see everywhere else.”

Certainly that’s a wishful plan (I’m all for smoothies and panini’s), but it’s clear students yearn for a little more variety in the numerous hours spent at school.

The cafeteria isn’t a place I often (or ever) visit for meal purposes, but daily coffee runs ensure that the scarce variety in food hasn’t gone unnoticed. And although my personal experience may be subpar, I’ve heard, even read on Facebook, stories of undercooked chicken and frozen vegetables being served.

However different the food preference is, implementing another food source is the popular consensus. Healthy eating makes for a healthy mind, right? The notorious ex-Bread Factory space is a perfect opportunity for a healthier alternative. Much like the late occupants, a wide variety in a small space is the optimal way to satisfy all crowds.

So, what if something unrelated to food found its way into the cafeteria?Hypothetically speaking, this idea left students a lot less enthusiastic and opinionated.

“What else can go there besides food?,” Svensson questions as she ponders over possibilities. “It’s a cafeteria, [food] makes the most sense”.

Adamant about that being the most sensible option, she “can’t imagine an alternative off the top of [her] head.”

Similarly, SMC student Ryan Miles finds anything other than food to be a questionable decision at the very least. “A cafeteria is for food. I don’t understand why it’s still empty” said Miles.

Food seems to be the most viable optional; such a loud and crowded place isn’t suitable for many other things. A useful, yet nearly impossible alternative, is a “coat check” system-- just substitute the coats with books; it is simple but would be difficult to pull off. Running from one end of campus to the other carrying heavy textbooks gets exhausting; it just so happens that the cafeteria is conveniently located in the middle of campus, give or take a few buildings. The thought of such a system is comforting, but call it wishful thinking because I can only imagine the chaos it would cause. It would be nixed quicker than the former.

Students, myself included, have given much thought to what new, innovative things could utilize the empty space, and as far as realistic ideas go, it’s safe to say food is the bread winner. In the end, whatever the case may be, whether it’s healthy food, dessert food, fast food, or not even food, it’s due time to put something back in that little niche.