Kenai Peninsula College is opening a statewide search for a new food vendor at the Kenai River Campus.
Jose’s Café, owned and operated by Jose Pons-Vives and contracted with the college for five years, will stop operations at the end of spring quarter. The request for proposals will be available April 4.
“Jose has been very supportive of the campus and has on occasion donated food for a variety of student functions,” said Gary Turner, KPC Director. “He has hired students to assist him in taking orders and with cash register duties.”
Pons-Vives has been completing two degrees, instrumentation and process technology, while running the café, and said he wants to focus on his final few courses next year.
“I just need to finish my degree and be on the market for a job,” Pons-Vives said. “I just don’t want to commit for a full year.”
Pons-Vives said he let the college know in advance so there would be enough time to look for a new vendor.
Originally, Pons-Vives had a one-year contract with an option to renew for another three years, said Jennifer Anderson, KPC director of administrative services. The University of Alaska Anchorage Procurement Services approved extending his contract for a fourth year, and then in 2015 he was the only applicant when requests for proposals were sent out and so he was awarded the contract, she said.
The next contract will be the same as Pons-Vives’s original, Anderson said.
Potential contractors will be asked what prices they can offer for their services, including what their menu items will cost, Anderson said. Currently, food items are priced similarly to those of other dining options in the Kalifornsky Beach Road area, she said.
“(The) menu must meet USDA nutritional requirements and be based upon a standard recipe system,” Anderson said.
A committee of Kenai River Campus staff will select the next vendor.
“Picking the correct variety of options, maintaining a price range that is affordable for students and staff, and dealing with an influx of students during class breaks,” are some challenges she said will come with the job.
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