Cookies ?n? cream is just the beginning

Katie Rusch

Katie Rusch Juice Reporter

If standing in line for an ice cream cone on a below-zero day is any indication of quality and popularity, SDSU ice cream is well worth the wait.

Even in the dead of winter, the SDSU Dairy Bar is serving up delicious treats and will soon have a newly renovated home to produce them in.

According to Howard Bonnemann, dairy plant manager, the Dairy Bar’s $9 million dollar expansion project is nearing completion and the new store front will be open for business during the first week of April.

“This renovation process has been quite an adventure,” Bonnemann said. “But the end result will be very nice.”

The Dairy Bar has been in its current location for about 50 years, but will soon look much different than it does now.

An inviting exterior will feature plenty of green space, accompanied by a plaza and a patio with additional outdoor seating.

“It will definitely be something to see when it’s done,” Bonnemann said.

A variety of high and low tables, along with booths, will increase the Dairy Bar’s seating from the current 16 to about 50.

The walls will be bright, sky-blue with a five foot tall grassland border and cutouts of cattle.

“It’s designed to feel like you are out on the prairie,” Bonnemann said.

He said the new plant will have an observation corridor which will make the manufacturing process more accessible to industry visitors.

The new Dairy Bar will be managed by Aramark, the universities food provider.

According to Bonnemann, their Java City coffee shop now located in Medary Commons will move across the street into the same room as the Dairy Bar.

“It will be an interesting partnership, where coffee and ice cream will be sold side-by-side.”

At the new location, students can expect to see the same dairy products their taste buds have come to know, but with a wider variety of serving sizes.

“Pint and single-serving containers of ice cream, and 12 or 16 ounce containers of milk are possibilities,” Bonnemann said.

The creamy treats that are offered at the Dairy Bar come from a facility about two and a half miles north of campus, at the SDSU Dairy Research and Training Facility.

Approximately 130 cows produce the milk needed to make the 62 flavors of ice cream, 13 varieties of cheese and full-to-the brim glasses of milk offered at the Dairy Bar.

Before you dig into a heaping dish of cookies “n cream at the new Dairy Bar, be sure to thank some of your fellow SDSU students for their hard work.

From cow to cone, students have been the driving force behind all aspects of production and manufacturing of products since SDSU ice cream was first sold on campus in 1927.

Bonnemann said the renovation project is part of a larger investment that will bring more students into the dairy industry and encourage growth.

“The dairy industry has a need for graduates trained in the manufacturing of dairy products and SDSU will provide a large number of those students,” Bonneman said.

Molly Paterson is a senior dairy manufacturing major and has worked in both the Dairy Plant and Dairy Sales Bar.

Paterson said her experience will be very beneficial when she enters the workforce.

“Not only do you know what goes into making the products we sell, but we learn how to relate to the consumers and answer their questions,” Patterson said. “It helps us learn how to turn our technical skills into relatable information for the general public.”

According to Bonnemann, the new facility will be a huge upgrade in learning for students.

“Currently, only one thing can be done at a time; we can make ice cream, cheese or milk,” he said. “The new plant will allow more opportunities for students to become valuable industry employees because they will be able to do all things at once.”

Paterson is looking forward to being able to serve more people at the Dairy Bar and hopes it will be a “hot spot” for community members, current students and prospective students visiting campus.

“I think the Dairy Bar will become a destination point rather than just a stop on the way to class.”

SDSU dairy products have already outgrown their home on campus.

Those craving cheddar cheese or a dish of mint chocolate chip can visit the new downtown location, Campanile Connection.

“If you don’t want to deal with parking on campus, you can go downtown and find the exact same products,” Bonnemann said.

Campanile Connection opened on Hobo Day 2010 and offers eight flavors of ice cream at any given time along with an assorted selection of cheese and packaged goods.

“The Chamber of Commerce wanted a north-end business that people visiting the Children’s Museum may want to go to,” Bonnemann said. “I hope it works out really well.”

The shop is open seven days a week and provides catering to downtown businesses on weekends which helps stimulate economic activity.

#1.1972080:3611120990.png:The Campanile Connection, which opened on Hobo Day 2010:The Campanile Connection, which opened on Hobo Day 2010, reaches the Brookings community and downtown shoppers.:Collegian Photo by Robby Gallagher