Rising food costs have hit all corners of the culinary world, including Savoir Fare. The campus store has been forced to mark up its items due to rising fresh produce costs after years of prices remaining stagnant.
Maryann Murphy, an employee who has been working at Savoir Fare for 20 years, said prices increased, but not for every product.
“A few items have remained the same price. Some baked items have increased 50 cents to $1. Some ready-to-go meals (beef, chicken, lamb, pork and fish) have increased by $2. However, most of our prices on many items did not have a price increase for years,” Murphy said.
While prices have gone up, Murphy argues the store still offers a cheaper alternative for fresh produce when compared to restaurants or chain grocery stores.
“Our prices are very reasonable. For many students, we’ve become a cheap alternative as food prices everywhere have gone up,” Murphy said.
While prices may have increased slightly, Muhammed Ahmad, an accounting student, still prefers Savoir Fare because he believes it’s more affordable than ordering takeout.
“I haven’t really noticed the prices going up if I’m being honest with you,” Ahmad said. “It’s still way cheaper than ordering takeout online, so if prices have gone up that doesn’t really bother me because it’s still the cheaper option.”
Chef Harsh Singh, the coordinator of the baking and pastry program, says Savoir Fare acts as a way to replenish funding for Algonquin College’s large culinary and baking program.
“In a way, whoever is buying from Savoir Fare is supporting our programs and the students’ learning. If the students don’t get to make more and more products, they won’t be able to practise. For some products, the only way they can practise is if it could be sold to recoup the price for the practice materials.”
Chef Daniel Halden, a full-time culinary professor at the college since 2010, believes the store provides an opportunity for the program to showcase the work its students are doing.
“It gives a bit of exposure to our programs as it shows what we’re doing in our classes. So it’s a nice relationship between the college community at large and our classrooms,” Halden said.
“Savoir Fare has always been an outlet for us to be able to share with the college community what the culinary and baking students are doing in their classes. We have lessons that need to be taught and learning outcomes that need to be achieved. (Savoir Fare) gives us an avenue to be able to do that,” Halden said.