Case Studies

Friday, August 14, 2009 - 04:00

The Unquowa School - Case Study

Customer Profile:

The Unquowa School, founded in 1917, is the oldest cotinuous nonprofit coed independent school in Connecticut. Its 180 pre-kindergarten through eighth-grade students are supported by more than 40 faculty and staff.

The Unquowa School Farm-to-Fork Policy:

The Unquowa School strives to serve nourishing, delicious and sustainably grown food, thus empowering students to make choices that have a positive influence on their personal health, family, community and the surrounding environment. Additionally, the school teaches children about sustainable food choices through an integrated curriculum that links the kitchen and dining room with the classroom.

“This is how my grandfather makes his bread.”
Unquowa School Seventh-Grader

The Challenge:

The Unquowa School aims to provide a nutritionally balanced, good-tasting, environmentally and fiscally responsible menu that utilizes local and quality ingredients. Unfortunately, the school could no longer purchase local bread due to an increase in food allergies and had to instead purchase its bread from large purveyors, sacrificing flavor and nutritional value.

Furthermore, the school found it challenging to meet its high-quality standard with a limited infrastructure and modest budget.



  • Identify equipment that enables the school to make its own bread and produce a menu that achieves its food quality and local sustainability goals.

Hobart Products Involved:

  • Hobart’s 40-quart D-340 floor mixer delivers the mix consistency, simple operation and reliable support that has set an industry standard.

Actions Taken:

  • The Unquowa School invested in the talents of a team of chefs skilled in the art of scratch cooking for large numbers of customers and using only minimal equipment.
  • The school aquired a 40-quart D-340 floor mixer from Hobart.

“So you make a good-tasting bread right in your kitchen, and it’s nut-free?!”
Debbie Meno, Parent

  • The mixer enabled the school to produce nut-free products that are safe for children with nut allergies.
  • The variety of menu options produced by the school, which were previously purchased, has increased greatly. These items include pizza dough, focaccia, baguettes, rye, whole grain and unbleached white breads.
  • The school was able to expand its lunch menu to include mashed potatoes, mashed assorted root vegetables, homemade cookies, brownies and granola bars.
  • By making its own products instead of purchasing from large distributors, the school saves more than $4,500—almost 10 percent of its total food budget.
  • Food savings include pizza dough ($1,400), French bread ($1,125), focaccia bread ($1,130), challah bread ($240), pullman white bread ($370) and pullman whole wheat bread ($280).
  • The Unquowa School expanded production of its signature “Gator Granola,” a nutritious and delicious mix of organic oats, honey and maple syrup that is used for fund-raising opportunities.
  • Students are more interested and engaged in the way meals are prepared.
  • The Unquowa School has raised the standards of its commitment to a sustainable food program—one that utilizes as much scratch cooking with local and fresh, whole ingredients as possible.

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