University celebrates The Fresh Food Co. opening

Celebrating a ribbon cutting for The Fresh Food Co., one of MSU's newest dining options, are (l-r) Student Association President JoJo Dodd; Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs Bill Broyles, Aramark Regional Vice President Chris Harr, MSU President Mark E. Keenum, Vice President for Student Affairs Regina Hyatt, and Talla Cisse, a senior political science major from Madison, who also serves as president of the Residence Hall Association. PHOTO: Russ Houston | Public Affairs

Mississippi State officials and invited guests were the first to sample the diverse offerings at the university's new Fresh Food Co. during a soft opening last Tuesday [Aug. 4]. The residential dining facility opened to students -- and to the community -- over the weekend.

With an emphasis on cooked-to-order meals, The Fresh Food Co.'s completion was celebrated with a ribbon cutting by MSU, Aramark officials and student representatives. Aramark operates MSU's Dining Services.

MSU President Mark E. Keenum said the 29,000-square-foot facility offers not only a tremendous new attribute and dining option on campus, but also a place for students to congregate, socialize and study.

"We want our students to have a wonderful quality of life while they're at MSU. We want them to get a great education, but also enjoy themselves and have great amenities," Keenum said.

He added that the university has a long tradition of preparing outstanding food for its students, and the new addition is another great option on the south side of campus.

Regina Hyatt, vice president for student affairs, said The Fresh Food Co. is a nice addition to the dining services landscape. Patrons can select food choices at various stations -- traditions, Mediterranean, saute, chophouse, Mongolian barbecue, deli, bakery, and salad bar.

She thanked JH&H Architects for design services, JESCO for contracting, Tipton Associates for kitchen design and Aramark for its partnership with the university.

"Place and space matter to student success, and we know that the addition of The Fresh Food Co. will make a difference in how our students think of their experience on campus," Hyatt said. "We hope The Fresh Food Co. will be a place our students recall fondly and with great pride."

Student Association President Joseph M. "JoJo" Dodd, a senior economics major from Carriere, said it is important for the university to "invest in the whole student -- from the classes they take, to recreation, to their mental health and of course where they eat.

"Thank you very much for your commitment and your vision for improving the student experience at Mississippi State," Dodd said.

Chris Harr, regional vice president for Aramark, said the company's 8-year partnership with MSU has worked well. Currently, more than 300 Aramark employees support 21 dining locations on campus, he said.

The Fresh Food Co. typically will open six days a week with operating hours 10:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday; 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. and 5-10:30 p.m., Sunday. The facility also will be open on special Saturdays, as well as game days.

For more on MSU dining, visit

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Allison Matthews | Public Affairs

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