The Santa Ana College Café operated by the Auxiliary Services Department is located on the west side of the Johnson Student Center, which opened to students in the Fall of 2021.
The students have mixed feelings about the food served, some don’t seem to mind the menu and pricing, and some greatly disagree.
“I think their food is bland and overpriced. I also wished they served burritos and more coffee options like frappes,” said Leonardo Bazai.
The café is run by culinary students. Students hired to work in the café must have food service experience and have a Food Handlers Certificate.
“We are hiring students from the culinary department in paid positions to work ongoing in the café,” said Chef Tiffany Heremans, Assistant Professor of Hospitality and Culinary Arts. “We are working in collaboration with the Culinary Arts program to offer paid internships.”
Drink prices vary from $2 for an espresso shot or fountain drink to $3 for a cold brew coffee, and lattes (hot or iced) start around $5. The most expensive drinks are berry or tropical smoothies at $7.50.
The food ranges from $5.50 for a marinated veggie sandwich to up to $10 for a harvest bowl. Breakfast options include parfaits, bagels, blueberry muffins, and croissants.
They are open Monday through Thursday, 7:30 A.M. to 1 P.M. and hours are subject to change depending on student flow, possible modifications to the menu, and the scheduling of small events, according to Director of Auxiliary Services Jennie Adams.
With the growth of the business, the café is hoping to extend its hours and expand its menu.
“The student workers and interns are involved in menu decisions and recipe costing as well as day-to-day operational decisions,” said Heremans. “Eventually we would love to have pop-up events that would highlight individual Culinary Arts student menus.”
The Don Express, a little shop located between buildings C and D, now serves hot drip coffee.
Don Express has various snacks such as chips, cookies, granola bars, ice cream, and instant ramen. They also offer cold sandwiches and drinks such as water, sparkling water, soda, cranberry juice, energy drinks, bottled tea, protein shakes, and Starbucks Frappuccino bottled coffee.
They have a microwave that is free to use and a small selection of grab-n-go school supplies like pencils, pens, and scantrons.