Whole Foods grant gives Shasta’s a fresh opportunity
Students from Shasta’s Culinary Workshop wore Cougar red at Whole Foods Market Community Giving Day, giving nutrition advice and providing demonstrations for customers on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We volunteered to help a few Whole Foods workers hand out various free samples of holiday treats such as dark chocolate peppermint bark thins and egg nog,” said nutrition senior Denny Doa.
“Also, we promoted Shasta’s Cafe and the Nutrition Department which received 5 percent of the proceeds that day at Whole Foods.”
Shasta’s, a student-operated cafe in the UH Department of Health and Human Performance, received a grant given to organizations in the community that embody the Whole Foods mission of health and natural foods.
“Whole Foods has these community outreach grants available for those that match their mission,” said Shasta’s Director Ann Svendsen-Sanchez.
“We applied for each Whole Foods store and got the grant for the Kirby location. They were attracted to us because we share similar values, such as preparing foods at home and growing produce ourselves.”
The grant gave the students the opportunity to get hands-on experience with preparing food for other customers.
“My classmate Scott and I handed out free samples and were greeted with many smiles and happy customers,” Dao said.
“These customers were very curious and thought it was very cool that the UH Nutrition Department was getting funded by the proceeds at Whole Foods that day.”
The grant will bring new opportunities to the student from Shasta’s. It is being used to build a garden for students to get hands-on experience with growing their own produce and herbs for the café, as well as the chance to learn more about botany.
“The herb garden will be located right outside of the classroom kitchen, which is on Wheeler and Cullen,” Svendsen-Sanchez said. “We as teachers want to show them simple botany procedures because there’s no content about it in the curriculum.”
Sanchez went on to explain the healthy gains that will be made with the herb garden and are excited to continue learning more about growing their own food.
“Shasta’s is an awesome wholesome cafe that will serve a creative made-from-scratch meal for an affordable price, and with this money we hope to make it even better and expand to have our own herb garden,” Dao said. “That way we get more hands-on with the process of making food from scratch as well as growing some of the ingredients ourselves; this will provide for better learning, tastier food, and a much more wholesome experience.”
The next goal of Shasta’s is to make the garden, which will include beds of basil, rosemary and thyme, aesthetically pleasing for the community.
“This is a really good partnership with Whole Foods, so we’ll make sure to have some signage from them from some great quotes about eating healthy and the importance of growing your own food,” Svendsen-Sanchez said.
A percentage of the sales from the workshop will go to the grant designated for the students.