By Sierra Maciorowski

“It’s a little like Whack-A-Mole,” said Dean of Students Stacy Cohen. “You hit one and you get a point, and another one pops up.”

Lunch options at SA have been anything but predictable over the past few years, and the administration’s search for reliability, like an arcade game, has been consistently repetitive.
Although new options keep cycling through, some choices have remained constant, like Good Earth Catering. And, according to Stacy, that may also be the healthiest lunch around — or, at least, the heartiest.

“You get a full meal, and you can really pile on your plate”, she said.
But what is the best economic choice? The fastest nutrition on campus, from the Fresh and Healthy vending machines, may seem expensive, but it actually gives back to the community through a 15% dividend check every month.
As Stacy explained, “I put [that money] back in the student life budget, maybe for more snacks at a dance, or the cereal bar for Valentine’s Day.”

So, buying from Fresh and Healthy may cost more up-front, but you might get more free cereal and M&Ms in the long run if you go for gummy worms instead of pretzels.

And, according to Stacy, the more you spring for on-campus food, the better.

“I would love for people to want to stay on campus, rather than go off campus,” she said.

Thankfully, lunch choice expansion will continue: in the semi-distant future, there will be an actual cafeteria.
However, lunch options for the future could expand in any direction.

“There’s a new one that may be starting: Jasmine Jacobson,” said Stacy. “She owns Native Kitchen, out of Petaluma, so we’ll talk to her and see what she might be able to do for us.”

But not every possibility seems to work out, as Pomegranate Catering proved.

After only two days of sales, the Forestville-based company decided that Sonoma Academy was not the right environment for them, before many students had the chance to test out their menu.

Stacy puts that loss down to simple economics. “He was making homemade mayonnaise from organic eggs,” she explained: his offerings were rather expensive. “I don’t think they’ve given it a long enough go. That was disappointing.”

As spring comes closer, any new lunch options will hopefully carry into the 2014-2015 school year.

“I’d like to leave Jason [Gregory, incoming Dean of Students] with something that’s consistent and reliable going into the fall,” Stacy said. “I want whatever I set up this spring to go through at least December of next year.”
And, with luck, everything will: the latest food on campus, The Farmer’s Wife Catering, seems to be well received and efficient, and most other choices are well-established, like Good Earth and the vending machines.

However, can Sonoma Academy look for anything new in the last quarter?

Unfortunately, students probably should not expect to see any frozen treats this year, since last year’s ice cream truck, Molly Moo’s, is no longer in operation. But Stacy is always looking for new lunch options and trucks.

“If students go to a local festival or concert and find a food truck that sounds interesting, [they should] get their business card and hand it to me,” Stacy said. That could even extend to snow cones.

Moving forward, the administration will always want new and better ways to feed Sonoma Academy, and for Stacy, there are four basic tenets of food choice. “Affordable, reliable, consistent, and nutritious,” she said. “And not necessarily in that order.”