The Scoop on that Soft-Serve Machine
Students craving long-awaited access to unlimited and self-serving dairy delights were awarded with the grand re-opening of the new chrome contraption in the main Dining Hall on Oct. 16. Sept. 21 was supposed to be the launch of the never-before-seen soft serve machine.
There was much talk around campus anticipating its arrival, and before you knew it, there it was… a large, shiny, three-levered ice cream dispenser standing in place of the old ice cream freezer the college used to have. This seemed like a dream come true to the college students, kids at heart. Their sweet, vanilla dreams were destroyed along the Rocky Road Sodexo has had introducing the newest dessert option to Marist dining.
After only a few hours of operating after its launch, the machine was left with a white sign taped to it saying “Out of Stock.” Not much panic arose among the students -- it only seemed natural that it would run out so quickly on the first day. The panic kicked in, however, when the machine disappeared the following day, and remained missing four days later. Students have been upset and confused about the mystery of the missing soft serve machine.
Alyssa Rivera ‘21 complained saying, “Honestly I’m just confused because I saw people with soft serve and then I went the next day and I couldn’t find it, so I basically wasted a meal swipe for ice cream… that disappeared.”
Sodexo Food Service Manager David Higham explained Sept. 21 was only supposed to be an “experimental day” to test the machine out. The reason why the machine was out of stock so quickly and not soon replaced, was because they have been waiting on a special piece of equipment. Without getting too technical, Higham explained that the piece of equipment is an additional unit that “tempers” the ice cream (acting almost like a freezer), making it so that the soft serve is at the right temperature, consistency, and of the best quality.
“Heard it’s a good ice cream, taking it away was hard… leaping over hurdles to get it back. The students are going to love the product itself. It’s really really good ice cream, but it is definitely a process,” Higham said.
Kate Cole, marketing coordinator for Sodexo, confirmed that the now-up-and-running machine has the capacity for 70 servings per flavor of ice cream. The brand of soft serve is Meyer Ice Cream, and the machine comes with three flavor options, two consisting of the classic chocolate and vanilla. The third flavor will be a unique, non-traditional soft serve flavor that will occasionally be rotated out. Currently Mint Chip Yogurt, potential future third flavors may be Cookies and Cream or Cookie Dough. Although the ice cream is not made here on campus, it is shipped to Marist to temper, guaranteeing freshness and high quality taste. Meyer’s soft serve’s taste and consistency is similar to that of its hard ice cream, which is traditionally sold in a pint.
The soft serve ice cream machine replaces the traditional hard ice-cream originally served in the Dining Hall. Previously, the Sodexo Staff scooped out the hard ice cream, topped it with fun toppings, and then served to the students. Now, the students are able to serve themselves the ice cream. Higham mentioned that there will be a Sodexo staff worker on standby, refilling the machine when needed, and assisting the students if they need help serving themselves. There are operating instructions on the machine, but Higham said it is simple enough. There are three levers and all you have to do is pull the lever of the flavor you desire.
After a technician installed the vital replacement part to the machine, things have been C running smoothly. “The only anticipated issue is the high demand of the students,” Cole said. “If they could bring a kiddie pool with them they would fill it!”