By George Anton ’21
On Nov. 9, M Culinary Concepts, known on campus as Michael’s, left Brophy after providing the main food service on campus for 14 years. The Corral, the school’s original food service, has been reborn to offer students more food options for affordable prices.
The change began when students came back to campus this Fall. In line with the school’s AMDG protocols, the Facilities Department told Michael’s they wanted them to open up in three different locations across campus to keep students distanced.
To meet the new requirements and still make a large enough profit margin to stay afloat, Michael’s had to raise prices.
“To be fair, I think they needed to because they are a for-profit business and they had months and months of not having the income they needed to survive,” said Mrs. Missy Grams, Director of the Facilities Department.
Mrs. Grams said that working with Michael’s was a unique experience because there was a fine line between them being profitable and also feeding students in a fair way.
The Facilities Department did try and assist Michael’s with setting their prices but mostly allowed them to operate independently and without too much school involvement.
In the end, Michael’s could not afford to meet the school’s wishes and open up three different locations across campus while also maintaining low prices.
The change in food service was largely kept a secret because it was well known that many students were unhappy with the service Michael’s was providing according to Mrs. Grams.
“We didn’t want anybody who might feel like they want to be rude to go in there and say ‘so glad you’re leaving,’” Mrs. Grams said. “We wanted to fully respect them up until the last day they were here.”
Another change the company made was no more food was made at Brophy, but instead was made off campus and delivered every morning. The food was heated up and then served throughout the day.
That decision was made in the summer and led to the resignation of Mrs. Sharon Byers, head chef of Brophy’s kitchen and employee of Michael’s for 25 years.
Mrs. Byers said that she was unable to continue with the company because they were heading in a different direction and were cutting out much of what she did.
“They had someone making the menu without me who has never been down here,” Mrs. Byers said.
Now with the departure of Michael’s, Brophy has hired back Mrs. Byers to once again run the food service on campus.
The Corral’s intent has been to curb prices and provide students with enough food to sustain them at an affordable price.
Mrs. Byers said that she has always been told to raise her prices and now it’s just the opposite. The only message she has been receiving now is to continuously lower them.
In an effort to maintain social distancing at lunch, Brophy has invited numerous food trucks to campus this semester to feed students. The food trucks will continue to be around for the rest of the semester.
Starting in January, there will be three food locations on campus according to Mrs. Grams. She is currently working on acquiring a permit to serve food out in the Front Lawn. She has a vision and thinks it would be great if Brophy started their own food truck, but recognized that it may not be realistic.
The Corral has many similarities to what the food service used to be like before coronavirus, mostly because of Mrs. Byers’s return and also the other employees.
Ms. Alma Gamez had worked for Michael’s at Brophy since 2009 and returned in the Fall despite new management. She thought about leaving when Mrs. Byers left and is glad she has returned.
Ms. Gamez is happy to be back working with her former coworkers and to be providing more food options for students this year at The Corral.
Mrs. Byers is excited to be back and hopes to reinstate some of the buffet style meals on a smaller scale, such as grill day, taco day and pasta day.
She said she is always open to new ideas and would love to hear from students.