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  • Cranbrook Takes Fresh Look at School Dining

    School meals today are better than ever — especially at Cranbrook Schools in Bloomfield Hills, which recently opened the first clean-concept school cafe in the state of Michigan.

    The cafe, Simply Puur, was designed through Cranbrook’s partnership with its food service provider, Chartwells K12, to mirror an on-campus restaurant that offers fresh, all-natural, healthy and trendy food to students. What’s truly unique is that the concept, menu and environment were driven heavily by the school’s students. Cranbrook surveyed kids last year to find out what they like to eat outside of school, and then largely based the menu and design off their feedback.

    “Our goal was to create a place where students looked forward to coming to enjoy healthy meals and snacks, but also where they could socialize and study, similar to a local coffee shop or popular restaurant,” said Allison Mitchell, resident district manager of school dining services at Chartwells K12. “The Simply Puur Café does just that. Our students feel comfortable in the space, and we’re thrilled because we know that while they’re there, they’re choosing healthy options made fresh by our chefs every day.”


    On top of that, the cafe sources some of its food and supplies from local businesses. Much of the produce served is from Eastern Market in Detroit, and the cups for smoothies are purchased from Green Safe Products in Detroit.

    The cafe has been a huge hit among Cranbrook students who love the fresh, healthy options that are now readily available to them. On any given day, more than 300 students pass through to purchase food items like smoothies, coffee, sushi, organic items and more.

    “We make everything in-house from recipes that we have developed. This gives us the ability to control ingredients and only use items in their purest form,” said Diana Olarte, cafe manager and chef at Cranbrook. “We’re also a nut-free operation, so we can ensure we’re keeping our students with allergies completely safe from harm.”

    “The cafe is a great place to relax and study while eating all-natural, healthy food. My friends and I used to go into Birmingham to get a smoothie or snack, but it was wildly expensive and took more time than we wanted. Now, we can just go to the cafe,” said Grace Krsul-Sullivan, a Cranbrook Kingswood sophomore.

    March 17, 2017