First Look

Prep School

Behind the scenes at the center of UB’s food-iverse

By Rebecca Rudell

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Statler Commissary, circa 1975.

Just off Flint Road on the North Campus sits an innocuous-looking concrete structure unknown to most students. And yet what goes on there has a big impact on their lives at UB, often on a daily basis.

Known as the Statler Commissary, it is the university’s largest food-distribution center, a stainless-steel, 6,421-foot space where dozens of UB staff and student employees prep, bake, grill and sauté edibles for thousands of hungry people. Fare for six operations— Grab & Go (wrapped items), UB Bakery, Three Pillars Catering, Deli Slicing operation, Big Blue and Little Blue food trucks, and UB Snackin’ (vending)—is planned and/or prepared here.

With culinary creations ranging from salads and wraps (pictured above) to the marble cake baked for President Obama in 2013, complete with the presidential seal rendered in frosting, the commissary certainly has its plate full.

A sampling of commissary activity in an average month:

2,857 cups flour used
4,000+ lbs. lettuce chopped
2,560 pineapples cut
1,356 eggs cracked
4,000 muffins made
2,000+ wraps rolled
8,400 vegan cookies baked