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Trendy Millennial Restaurant Helps Fund New York College

A New York college’s restaurant offers wine, dining, and organic products.

Cultivaire Ithaca NY

When you think of milliennials, what comes to mind? Technology? Social progressiveness? Hip fashion?

There’s one more to add to that list: food. And good food, too. Healthy and environmentally-friendly grub.

Supermarket layout

The path that millennials travel through a supermarket. (via

According to Forbes, this middle-aged generation virtually avoids the center of the supermarket–prepared meals, like cans of soup and dried gains–and are instead filling their fridge with meats, vegetables, breads, and other perishable items.

[They are] more willing to pay for fresh and healthy food, and are willing to go to great lengths to find it.  And they are also more aligned with the “food movement” and love things like organic farms, small batch jams and artisanal cheese.

Forbes continues to explain that the change has major consequences for the food market (“don’t forget – they will be teaching their children to eat this way too,” it points out) and for the way food is produced and processed before the consumer even reaches it.

The good news is that this radical shift has two amazing side effects: money and education.

Central New York’s Tompkins Cortland Community College has founded a near-campus restaurant that serves local organic foods in conjunction with a degree in sustainable farming and food systems.

Dishing food onto plates at Tompkins-Cortland Community College restaurant Coltivare

The new culinary facility, named “Coltivare” (meaning cultivate in Italian), will create approximately 42 permanent jobs, 26 of which will be for students as paid interns or part-time workers. The community will be able to dine in the Coltivare restaurant knowing they are eating healthy and responsibly-grown fruits and vegetables.

“With the Farm to Bistro project, we seek to cultivate the earth in environmentally responsible ways, cultivate minds, cultivate ideas, cultivate enthusiasm, cultivate friendships, partnerships and a mutually beneficial relationship with the community,” said Sue Stafford, chair of the College’s new culinary arts degree program.

Coltivare offers a formal dining area, complete with food and wine tastings, as well as a more casual service and full bar. The menu showcases products from local farmers and beverage producers–directly aligning with the spirit of Governor Cuomo’s FreshConnect Farmers’ Market Program announced in March 2014.

Vegetables growing under sunlight in open field

The degree program that is supported, in part, by Coltivare is aimed at giving students a sense of the entire food system and answering the question, what’s really in your burger?

Since Tompkins Cortland Community College is a public university, New York taxpayers are getting a little more bang for their tax dollars as students gain valuable experiential education–a win-win for literally everybody involved.

So there you have it, guys: millennials really are making a difference in America.



Cultivare Wine Lab Rendering Cultivare Reception Rendering Cultivare Student Lounge Rendering


Photos: screenshots from TC3 Farm to Bistro Initiative on YouTube

Glenn Solomon

Written by Glenn Solomon

Glenn is a student assistant in the Office of New Media of the State University of New York. He is an undergraduate economics and political science major at the University at Albany in Albany, NY.

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  • Apurva Appu says:

    Thanks for sharing information with us.

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