Greeley High School Foodservice Manager Jeremy West

wellness committee pic

Jeremy West and his team delivering meals on a daily basis for schools in Greeley, CO.

Being a foodservice manager isn’t easy, especially when working with schools, but that didn’t stop sustainable foodservice manager Jeremy West. In the Greeley School district, Jeremy West serves as the Nutrition Services Director at the central food production facility providing a variety of meals to schools in their district. When it came to making a difference in the school district, Jeremy West would be the go to guy.

Jeremy started 4 years ago at the nutrition services facility in Greeley, CO. At that time less than 20% of their food was made from scratch. Jeremy always feels there’s a need for improvement and had the ability go through a culinary boot camp with Live Well Colorado. After his experience at Live Well Colorado his vision was clear on sustainability. Jeremy invested more space in the kitchen for a full service production. Also, he invested in his staff helping them develop culinary skills at the facility and making changes to have 75% of their food made from scratch. “Instead of using a premade burrito with 35 ingredients, our team makes hand rolled burritos that uses only 12 ingredients with mostly spices,” Jeremy states. Jeremy believes sustainable foods are foods that are purchased as local as possible with no additives or preservatives. Currently Jeremy and his facility are on their 6th year with the farm to school movement starting with a cherry tomato bush to now having a farm with many items being used such as fresh produce and herbs. In addition, Jeremy West’s teams also makes sustainable efforts by making all of their meals on site instead of having things come premade from other sources, and reusable trays for continual use. Jeremy and his team’s goals are to improve school achievement. They don’t want any barriers affecting the students’ classroom performance with dyes and preservatives; rather they have real food helping improve the students’ performance. Jeremy West knows he has a good team with a dietitian, two chefs, and a wellness personal on staff collaborating in helping develop the best meals for their schools. In the future, Jeremy and his team hopes kids will be more accepting of scratch cooked meals and sourcing all of their ingredients locally. Through Nutrition Services, Jeremy encourages people to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, while taking baby steps in being sustainable. “Little changes can make a big difference, it paves the way for a healthier lifestyle so start small,” says Jeremy.

Jeremy has as an amazing trait as a sustainable food service manager, the trait of valuing his team. The reason why the Nutrition Services in Greeley, CO provides great sustainable food is because Jeremy builds careers with his team. Rather than just looking at numbers, Jeremy genuinely cares for success of his team and the kids’ performances at school.


Fruition Restaurant: Sustainable Foodservice Manager Alex Siedel

“Every element of every dish on the seasonally changing menu serves a purpose and is cooked to perfection,” Chef Lon Symensma.

This past week I had the privilege of interviewing Alex Seidel, owner of Fruition Restaurant.  Fruition is rated as one of the top restaurants in Denver.  What truly sparked my interest with them is their leadership in changing the food system. Their sustainable food practices involve taking food from farm straight to the table.

Owner Alex Seidel started working in the foodservice industry at age 14 washing dishes, and then worked his way up to becoming a chef.  This experience exposed him to the world of fresh food and herbs. Alex dreamed of having his own restaurant, and his dream has now become a reality. Fruition restaurant is not your typical bistro restaurant, because it incorporates food from a farm they own.  Their farm brings artisanal sheep cream and dairy and heritage bred pigs. They also have bees that produce honey and help pollinate their herbs and seasonal produce.  In addition, they build relationships with local farmers and work with producers to help keep their cost down.  Alex believes it’s important to provide sustainable foods to their customers so they can eat better, live longer, and experience a healthier lifestyle.  He defines sustainable foods as real foods that are minimally processed, do not contain artificial ingredients, support the environment, treat agricultural workers fairly and are kind to animals.  Alex also participated in “Slow Food Congress” a sustainable food conference that took place in Italy, where participants discussed actions they are taking to create a more sustainable world.  Through Fruition, Alex believes in encouraging other people to visit local farms, to raise sustainable food awareness in their community and provide support to urban farms.

Alex sees himself as an average person, but his daily routine is more than average, after learning all of the work that he is doing in sustainable foods I believe he’s more than ordinary, he’s extraordinary!