Four vendors offer to run food service at Camden Snow Bowl

By Susan Mustapich | Oct 05, 2017

CAMDEN — Four food businesses have submitted proposals to run the food concession at the Camden Snow Bowl this winter.

The proposals, due Sept. 25, will be reviewed by the Snow Bowl four seasons committee and presented to Camden Select Board at an upcoming meeting.

French & Brawn, doing business as Mike's Catering, which has operated the food concession at the Snow Bowl for many years, did not submit a proposal.

The stated intent of the request for proposals is to provide healthy food at a reasonable cost to the Snow Bowl's winter sports visitors while sharing in the profit with the concessionaire.

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

The proposals were submitted by Mark Senders and Rebecca Neves of Camden Bagel Cafe, offering breakfast sandwiches and specials, deli sandwiches, beef and veggie burgers, grilled chicken, hot dogs, salads, and healthy grab-and-go snacks; Arif Shaikh of D.F. Curry in Rockland, offering curries, sandwiches, fries, both plain and masala, organic coffee and hot chocolate and chai; Molly Gray Hooper and Malcolm Bedell of Mussel Ridge Market in Spruce Head offering classic and updated "ski chalet snack bar fare," including weekend and holiday breakfast sandwiches, snacks including nachos and tots poutine, salads, chicken, pork and steak sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs; Mike Mastronardi of Yardbird Canteen in Port Clyde, offering quick, handheld items including burgers, hot dogs, pulled pork, fried chicken tacos, fries and onion rings.

The four proposals emphasize homemade food and local ingredients where possible. Camden Bagel Cafe's proposal includes an offer to host special food events, and occasional on-mountain food service.

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.

The last time a request for proposals was issued for the operation of the Snow Bowl food concession dates back to the fall of 2011, according to the minutes of a Nov. 16, 2011, Select Board meeting. The town had received two proposals from prospective vendors. Snow Bowl management staff recommended that the Select Board reject the proposals, and instead enter into negotiations with the current vendor. At the Dec. 20, 2011, Select Board meeting, members unanimously approved the victualer's license for Mike's Catering, doing business as French & Brawn, at the Camden Snow Bowl. There was discussion that another request for proposals would be issued for the food concession when the new lodge was built at the ski area.

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