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SUNY Potsdam's Dining Services Ranked No. 6 in New York State

05.15.17
Executive Chef Amy L. Conger displays some desserts outside Dexter’s Café at SUNY Potsdam.

SUNY Potsdam was recently ranked No. 6 in Niche’s “2017 Best College Food in New York” list—with students rating the college’s dining services as some of the very best in the state.

Potsdam Auxiliary and College Educational Services (PACES) prides itself on offering quality, variety and exceptional customer service at the 22 dining kiosks that it operates at eight locations across the SUNY Potsdam campus.

“It is a great honor for PACES to be ranked No. 6 for the Best College Food in New York State. Buying locally and regionally produced foods, making products from scratch in our kitchens and listening to our students’ and customers’ ideas make us who we are. I want our customers to feel that they are a part of PACES, and not that we are just the folks who serve their food,” Director of Dining Patrick Gray said.

Niche based the ranking on student ratings of campus dining, and also assessed the average cost of each college’s meal plan, when compiling the ranking. The survey ranked 1,384 four-year colleges and universities across the country, which was then broken down into the top 100 campuses in New York State.

“We are always trying new flavors and trends to keep up with the needs of our student body. We have gone so far as to have students come into the kitchen, to show us how their mom or grandmother would have made certain dishes,” said Executive Chef Amy L. Conger. “Food is an integral part of the college experience. Most of the freshman class has never been away from home. So it is our responsibility to be almost ‘second parents,’ and make sure that all of our students are being fed good nutritious meals and feel at home on campus.”

SUNY Potsdam offers one of the most flexible meal plan structures within the SUNY system, and the College has one of the highest numbers of on-campus dining options out of all the SUNY campuses of its size. So perhaps it’s no surprise that SUNY Potsdam has also been twice ranked No. 1 within the system for student satisfaction with dining services, in the SUNY Student Opinion Survey.

PACES Dining Services is dedicated to supporting local and New York State producers. In 2016, PACES purchased nearly $1.5 million worth of regional and NYS products through Renzi Foodservice of Watertown, N.Y. In addition, PACES purchases goods from 15 local small farms through Martin’s Farmstand.

Some of those local goods come directly from campus—PACES even uses microgreens grown by SUNY Potsdam biology students in catering and salads offered at Dexter’s Café.

“We have accomplished great things in dining services, thanks to our amazing staff and the PACES Board of Directors. They provide the leadership, vision and support every day, and that is fundamental to our continued success,” Gray said.

To learn more about dining at SUNY Potsdam, visit www.potsdam.edu/studentlife/dining.

About PACES Dining Services:

Potsdam Auxiliary and College Educational Services Inc. (PACES) is a not-for-profit corporation operating under contract with SUNY Potsdam. PACES’ mission is to offer high-quality products and services, while maximizing customer value and financial return, to the benefit of the larger SUNY Potsdam community. PACES Dining Services was rated the No. 1 dining service for comprehensive colleges in the SUNY system, in the Student Opinion Satisfaction Survey. For more information about what makes PACES No. 1, visit www.potsdam.edu/offices/paces.

About SUNY Potsdam:

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit www.potsdam.edu.

Media contact:

Alexandra Jacobs Wilke, Office of College Communications,
(315) 267-2918