NMS and the University of Alaska Anchorage celebrates a 15-year partnership
NMS has provided food services for residential and retail dining on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus since winning the account in a request for proposal in 2007. After winning the bid, NMS took over operations in the fall semester of that year. At the time, 900 resident students were dining at Creekside Eatery. Retail outlets on campus were the Cuddy Marketplace (currently closed), Fireside Café which was previously open in the current ANSEP building, Kaladi Brothers Coffee, and the Student Union offerings Mein Bowl, Tsunami Sushi and Subway.
NMS is proud of the team at UAA and has several faces that have been there from the start. Scott Evers served in the opening years as Executive Chef, leading a culinary team of 40 kitchen staff. Scott still resides over this account as area operations manager for NMS’s K-12 and university accounts. Another face on campus is Bruce Bryan, who has stepped up to serve as general manager in 2022 overseeing all of Seawolf Dining after 13 years as the retail manager.
In 2013 NMS was selected to continue as the food service contractor for the Alaska Airlines Center, which opened in 2014. NMS managed the catering, concessions and the management of the Varsity Sports Grill, Alaska’s only skybox restaurant.
In 2016 the Mein Bowl and Tsunami Sushi concept was retired and replaced with Caliente – a
burrito concept developed by Director of University Housing, Dining and Conference Services David Weaver and NMS Executive Chef Brad Harris. The dining concept offered a build-your-own theme, including vegan and vegetarian items, and featured bottled Coke imported from Mexico. The old Mein Bowl space received a facelift to compliment the new restaurant theme and serving style.
In 2016 Creekside Eatery was redesigned with new paint, flooring, art for the walls, new seating, and a beautifully renovated servery with granite countertops and feature wall items. The fresh look inside Creekside provided an exciting boost of new energy for the students and staff alike.
Cuddy Marketplace also got a facelift with new paint and updated service stations.
In 2018 Caliente morphed into a burger diner with a similar build-your-own appeal that students appreciated. Burgers were hand formed, and the fries were hand-cut.
On November 30, 2018, a 7.1 earthquake rocked Anchorage and caused damage to UAA buildings and closed the campus for five days while the cleanup and repair process began. Seawolf Dining was on the scene, with Scott Evers supporting the Incident Management Team on campus with breakfasts and boxed lunches.
By spring 2020, Seawolf Dining was serving roughly 450 residents. It had just launched a new text messaging technology for retail advertising when during spring break, the world pandemic, Covid-19 shut down dining establishments in Alaska. In a matter of weeks, the UAA campus closed as the state “hunkered down” at home. Most students returned home, and those unable to leave were supplied with to-go meals as UAA and Seawolf Dining established health mandates and serving systems.
The fall of 2022 brought a return to normalcy and improvement in enrollment and resident dining with 450 residents on campus. The pandemic left Alaska with new issues, such as a reduced food service labor force and some of the most challenging employment issues the industry has ever experienced. While navigating those challenges, Creekside Eatery resumed an almost typical resident dining format with breakfast, lunch and dinner format Monday – Thursday and brunch and dinner Friday – Sunday. Subway is still serving up new handheld delights in the Student Union, Kaladi Brothers Café is still providing a bright spot in the day with great coffee and ambiance, and Daily Grind reopened in November in the Lucy Cuddy Hall.