Camden Bagel Cafe bags Snow Bowl food concession

By Susan Mustapich | Oct 11, 2017
Photo by: Susan Mustapich The Camden Bagel Cafe was selected Oct. 10 as the food concession vendor for the Camden Snow Bowl's 2017-18 ski season.

CAMDEN — The Camden Bagel Cafe was selected by the Select Board Oct. 10 to run the food concession at the Snow Bowl this winter.

The board unanimously supported the recommendation of Snow Bowl General Manager Beth Ward.

For the first time in seven years, the town of Camden issued a request for proposals for the Snow Bowl food concession. Four food businesses submitted proposals, including Mark Senders and Rebecca Neves of Camden Bagel Cafe; Arif Shaikh of D.F. Curry in Rockland; Molly Gray Hooper and Malcolm Bedell of Mussel Ridge Market; and Mike Mastronardi of Yardbird Canteen in Port Clyde..

The proposals, due Sept. 25, were also reviewed by the Snow Bowl Four Seasons Committee. Ward said Oct. 10 that the committee recommended both Camden Bagel Cafe and Mussel Ridge Market, and that she made the final decision.

French & Brawn, doing business as Mike's Catering, has operated the food concession at the Snow Bowl for decades. The business did not respond to the request for proposals.

Selectman Marc Ratner asked Ward for her reasons for choosing Camden Bagel Cafe, noting that its revenue-sharing offer was the lowest of the four proposals, and that Mussel Ridge Market had significant experience with ski areas, and a menu with healthier options. He asked if the revenue-sharing and menu were negotiable. The range of profit-sharing offered varied from four to six percent.

Ward responded that these items are negotiable. She cited the reasons she choose the Bagel Cafe. "They have been in business in town for three years, and the family is invested in the community. I've known him [Senders] personally for many years and feel that we can communicate really well."

Ward also cited the Bagel Cafe's familiarity with the ski area and what families want and need at the Snow Bowl, that the business offered to be open extra days for special food events during the ski season and occasional mid-mountain food service, and that because the Bagel Cafe is located in Camden, the business location can be used for preparation.

Ward said she is confident in the Bagel Cafe's ability to provide the service. She explained that the food service vendor has to "look like the Snow Bowl" and fit in with its brand. Ward said all of the proposals were "great and interesting" and that she appreciated receiving them.

The stated intent of the RFP was to seek a vendor that would provide healthy food at a reasonable cost to the Snow Bowl's winter sports visitors while sharing the profit with the concessionaire.

Respondents provided menus showcasing a wide range of food items they could offer, as well as pricing, revenue-sharing with the Snow Bowl, and employee discounts.

The request for proposals specified that the concession must be open a minimum of every weekday afternoon that the Snow Bowl is open, and all day during weekends, holidays and during school vacations when the ski area is operating.

From mid- to late December through mid- to late March, the hours of operation are typically 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends, holidays and vacations. While traditionally the kitchen has been open the same operating times as the ski area, this will be negotiable for the upcoming season.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.