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DUSDAC adds Mad Hatters to MOP

A week after adding Nosh to Merchants on Points, the Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee decided to bring another eatery into the program at its Monday night meeting.

Students will soon be able to use their food points at Mad Hatter Bakeshop and Cafe, located within walking distance of East Campus.

Mad Hatter’s offers a large variety of sandwiches, salads and desserts ranging from breakfast burritos to black and white cookies. Vegan offerings are also available, and there are plenty of options for those General Manager Andrew Mikkola called “vegesaurs.”

Mikkola spoke at the DUSDAC meeting alongside Robert Ghanem, who owns Mad Hatter’s with his wife Fida.

Mad Hatter’s was on Merchants on Points several years ago under previous ownership. Mikkola said a “re-emphasis on quality food and sanitation” is the main reason to bring Mad Hatter’s back to the Merchants on Points program.

He also addressed DUSDAC’s concerns about the bakeshop’s ability to handle a large number of student orders. Mad Hatter’s has three voice lines and one fax number, and is ready to add new phone lines if necessary, Mikkola said.

He added that Mad Hatter’s has heated and cooled vans, parking passes and five drivers familiar with the University. Saladelia Cafe, which supplies food to several on-campus dining locations and is also owned by Ghanem, will supply back-up drivers if needed, Mikkola said.

Mad Hatter’s will deliver from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and charge a $2 fee for the service. There is a $10 minimum order for deliveries.

The restaurant itself is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, according to its Web site.

After adding Mad Hatter’s to the Merchants on Points program, DUSDAC heard from Franca Alphin, director of Nutrition Services at Student Health.

Alphin requested that DUSDAC ask on-campus eateries which of their food offerings have allergy-inducing ingredients such as peanuts, tree nuts or shellfish, when they meet with those vendors.

She also asked the committee to talk to vendors about the possibility of these ingredients getting into other food products.

For instance, she said if the same utensils used in making peanut butter tortillas are also used for other tortillas, students with peanut allergies could be at risk.

Information about food free of allergy-inducing ingredients will be posted on DUSDAC’s Web site once it is compiled.

In other business:

DUSDAC approved a request from senior Elana Berger, a representative of Chi Omega sorority, to use $500 worth of food points during a fundraiser for the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Chi Omega is planning to sell ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery on the Friday of Homecoming Weekend.

The committee also discussed a plan to allow students to tip Merchants on Points drivers using their food points, but no final decision was made.

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