The Bagel Shop Concept: local option for the education segment

Published on : 7/30/21
  • Sodexo Canada is operating the Library Learning Café and elevating the food experience for students at Bishop’s University. The café promotes fresh and seasonal products from fair trade and local producers. It opened in 2018 and has remained open during the pandemic.



    In 2018, Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Québec, renovated its library building, giving Sodexo the opportunity to take part in the food offer proposal.

    Looking to offer local and sustainable options, Gaetan Vivier, Sodexo’s General Manager, partnered with a local vendor La Fabrique de Bagels Café Noir Inc. which is located in the city of Magog, Québec. The menu showcases artisanal bagels made fresh daily in a wood oven, as well as baked goods and pastry products of superior quality. The Library Café offers customized bagel sandwiches made to order upon guest’s preference, specialty grilled cheese, and a wide selection of gourmet soups and salads. Many items on the menu are locally sourced, such as the duck from Canard du Lac Brome and the main food supplier is based in Drummondville, Québec.

    In addition to the food offering, a local coffee roaster, Café Vittoria, was chosen to provide a premium coffee experience on campus, a local favourite in the city of Sherbrooke since 2006. Their coffee bean selection is 100% organic, and they serve a variety of organic tea, cold beverages and healthy snacks.

    “The Library Learning Cafe, also known as the LLC, is a tremendous success. Our students expressed a strong desire to enjoy a coffee in the library in this bistro-styled, renovated space. Sodexo and the Bishop's Dining Committee have worked closely together to create a campus food offering that showcases local products and premium coffee. Sodexo has demonstrated its creativity by presenting a concept which offers a wide variety of authentic bagels as found in Montreal, but produced locally," says Debbie Langford, Director of Bishop's University Ancillary services.


    By the numbers/Stats

    • +15K bagels were served in eight months
    • Sales for 2018 were 119K, for 2019 were 175K
    • Sales revenue increase year over year at 47%
    • Average payroll 27%
    • Average food cost 36%





    The challenge encountered was the unexpected increased volume of walk-in traffic when the concept was launched. Sodexo had to rethink its operation and add equipment to fulfill an order in a reasonable time frame.

    Fortunately, this was a good challenge to overcome as the team had to re-evaluate their operational plans and invest in further equipment to streamline the processes, training and become more cost-efficient. Such efficiency controls that were put in place helped the operations to increase speed service and focus their efforts on customer service and marketing their newly developed offerings.



    A sustainable approach was fundamental when developing the offer, with a commitment to local sourcing, and by supporting local products, it is essential to the responsible growth of our business and is key when building a sustainable community. 

    As socially responsible operators, we are aware of the environmental footprints more than ever before, and at this site, they have sourced containers and packaging that have recyclable and compostable materials. The containers are made of sugarcane fiber which is renewable, biodegradable and compostable. Also, stir sticks have been substituted by Fettuccine pasta. 

    The coffee and bagel concept is committed to creating an environmentally-friendly venue by including a comprehensive portfolio of local suppliers and vendors. With local sourcing and purchasing at top of mind, this allows our chefs the ability to use fresh, and in-season ingredients for every meal. 

    “We are very present in the sustainability program, reducing our footprint by composting, recycling and encouraging reduced energy consumption, all while using fair trade products like coffee throughout campus and supporting local producers.” - Gaetan Vivier, General Manager - Education Segment.



    The local bagel shop concept can be adapted and implemented at campuses across the country, with custom brand standards and regional and local vendors where possible. Contact your Sodexo representative or contact our team of experts to bring a local café experience to your students.

    bagel shop