OCCC Cafeteria, Coffee Shop Serving Up Food Again
By: Christopher Hill and Ida Stallvik
The OCCC coffee shop and the college cafeteria, OCCC Cafe, are open for business again and are serving students, faculty and staff enmasse after being closed over the summer.
The coffee shop, which was known for serving Starbucks brand coffee and paninis as well as other foods, was shuttered this summer as college pursued a different direction in its food service offerings.
The cafeteria, College Cafe, was also closed much of the summer causing many students and employees off campus to find food.
As a result of the closings, all food-service employees were laid off including some who had worked at OCCC for years.
One employee who was laid off was Beverly Haley who had worked for the OCCC Cafe since 2005, and who had seen many students start college and graduate or transfer.
At the time of her layoff she said, “If I’m not hired back, I’m going to miss this, and a lot of people, a lot of the students.’’
Hayley has been rehired by the college and is back in her role of food service worker and unofficial student counselor.
She is often seen offering advice and a kind ear to those she meets in her checkout line.
The temporary closures came as a money-saving decision.
OCCC President Jerry Steward told faculty and staff in meeting this summer that the former vender, Consolidated Management, was asking for too much money to run the coffee shop and Cafe, according to a recording of a meeting obtained by the Pioneer.
“Instead, OCCC is going to do what it used to do,” and run the food service itself, he said.
Consolidated Management was the foodservice provider since July 1, 2013.
OCCC alumnus Murod Mamatov who manages the coffee shop and owns Ellis Island Coffee and Wine Lounge located in Edmond said he reached out to those affected by the layoffs and ”hired every one of them who was interested.”
“So we hired three people who were left … whoever wanted to stay they stayed,” he said.
Mamatov not only has a connection to OCCC, but has a special connection with the coffee shop.
Mamatov was manager of the coffee shop during its first three years in operation at OCCC.
After suggesting that it be built as part of a class project, his professor gave the plans to OCCC administration who brought coffee shop into being, Mamotov said.
All of the employees at Mamatov’s managed coffee shop at OCCC are students.
Mamatov also said having an OCCC coffee shop owned and operated by a local company would be better for the school by having the tax money stay local.
The coffeeshop is located near the staircase in the Main building and is open 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. Friday. The coffee shop offers a variety of coffees, teas, baked goods and sandwiches. The OCCC Cafe is located in the College Union, between the Main Building and Social Sciences Building. It has limited hours, 7:30 – 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. Friday.