CDS wins gold award in national competition

Published June 10, 2024

Campus Dining and Shops (CDS) has received a gold award in the 2024 Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards sponsored by the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS).

The gold award, given in the category of Retail Sales — Single Concept of the Year, recognizes Sabor Latino, the fast-casual restaurant in the Student Union that serves authentic Latin American lunch entrées and desserts. The restaurant, which opened in January, serves nearly 800 guests each week.

The entry highlighted all the major components of Sabor Latino, including menu and meal, facility design and merchandising, marketing, nutrition and wellness, and additional considerations.

“We are deeply honored to receive this award for the second year in a row, after winning gold and grand prize for One World Café last year,” says Eric Blackledge, CDS executive director. “These awards are among the most prestigious national honors in higher education food services and a true testament of the passion and perseverance of our dedicated staff.”

Adds Brian Hamluk, vice president for student life: “Sabor Latino has been an outstanding addition to the dining options on our University at Buffalo campus. This concept was in direct response to feedback from students, who worked alongside our Campus Dining team on its concept and creation.

“I have received many positive comments from students and am thrilled to have this new venue — enhancing our student experience and adding to our diverse food offerings,” Hamluk says.

As one of the highest scoring submissions, Sabor Latino and CDS are now in contention for the Grand Prize Award, which will be announced at the 2024 NACUFS national conference in July.

The Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards, named for the NACUFS founder and past president, are the ultimate tribute in the campus food service industry. They recognize exemplary menus, presentations, special event planning and new dining concepts, and provide an avenue for sharing ideas and creative presentations in campus dining services.