The COVID-19 pandemic has allowed Michael and Terrin Boe time to reassess their startup food service business.
After being shut down in March due to the virus, the married couple used the benefit of hindsight to strategize and reopen their eatery at 450 North Avenue on the campus of Kellogg Community College.
It’s why they called it 20/20 Bistro and Catering.
“I wouldn’t say we had a rough start here, but it was really eye-opening,” Michael said. “So what we wanted to do after I got my feet wet, it was 20/20 hindsight. It’s about the vision, where we want to go with it and how everything came to fruition and we were given this good opportunity. It has nothing to do with the year 2020. It had a nice ring to it and sounded good.”
Beginning Aug. 31, when the campus begins hosting in-person classes, the bistro will open to serve students and staff with American-style food via window service at its campus location. It will open up to the public at a later date, a delay that’s due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Catering is available to the public.
MORE: Kellogg Community College will have some in-person classes this fall
“People can realize this is a really beautiful campus to come and visit,” Michael said. “For us to be able to provide that window service and eventually be open to the public and see what we offer I think will help us out in the long run.”
The two began dating while attending Gull Lake High School in Richland before marrying and moving to South Dakota, where Michael worked as a food service director at a school district where Terrin taught first grade. They returned home last fall to run the grab-and-go Bruin Bistro at KCC, before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of the campus.
Terrin, a teacher with Battle Creek Public Schools, said the bistro now wants to bring the campus population more healthy options as well as comfort food.
“We want to take college food and kind of push it further,” she said. “We don’t want just the pre-made wraps and salads. We want it to be really fresh, whole ingredients. He has a lot of experience in the restaurant industry making fresh food from scratch, so that’s what we’re hoping to incorporate into the college as well.
“I know as college students, your stuck with ramen noodles and the very cheap, not-so-great food. But we want to add health to that as well. We pick out our own produce and make sure it’s up to our standards and qualities.”
The bistro and catering service will have four employees. Its operating hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. and for dinner from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
“We view this as a great opportunity,” Michael said. “This is us starting our own business from scratch and the college is giving us that opportunity to do that and are helping us out to get started. When it’s going, there’s a lot of turning wheels.”
Nick Buckley can be reached at [email protected] or 269-966-0652. Follow him on Twitter:@NickJBuckley
This article originally appeared on Battle Creek Enquirer: 20/20 Bistro & Catering at Kellogg Community College helps couple realize vision