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The Aviance of AViands

Perhaps the word aviance doesnt make its way into your every-day vocabulary of
words. That would be understandable, considering the words derives its meaning from the
French word avance, meaning simple lead. In English, aviance means to lead, or
forward,.
One would mostly, though, hear the word in the restaurant business. Restaurants use the
word aviance to mean the atmosphere of food. Now, dont confuse aviance with Crowns
AViands food servicesthey sound similar.
The atmosphere of food swirling around Crown belongs to AViands Food Services
and Management. A veteran to Crown College, the service has been around Crown for many
years; so many, in fact, that Food Service Director Margie Davison cant remember when
AViands first came on campus.
It was here before I was, she stated. Davison has been in food service for 30+ years,
and has been with Crown two years this January. She, and the rest of the staff at AViands, have
been working hard to see to changes both cosmetically and industrially.
2014 ushered in many upgrades for AViandsfirstly, in the cosmetics era. The
cafeteria got a new coat of paint, Davison explained, and were working on wall art and dcor.
Its got a new look, which was needed. This was the beginning of many other changes to come,
especially regarding the menu and featured foods.
Davison explained that AViands wanted to feature not only just food individually every
week, but a food group. The idea came to life on Friday when AViands featured Fair Food
Friday, as Davison called it, and sported all types of food one would see at an everyday county-
fair. She explained that the idea was highly successful, and that there are more in the future.
New ideas range from a live grill, more fast-food type options, and Gluten free home-
cooked meals. The idea came from a conversation I carried on with an individual who asked
why we didnt offer home-cooked meals, Davison explained, but really, people dont want just
home-cooked meals all the time. They want diversity. And diversity is what theyll get, says
Davison.
October will see diversity menus, for sure. AViands would like to offer stir-fry one
night every week for students, an idea which is appealing to students. Diversity is continually a
goal, as Davison said they are working on a bigger cycle menu, one that will add and pull
different food options depending on the seasons.
Part of the push for diversity idea came from the new-hire Assistant Food Service
Director, Joe Smith. He came to Crown, Davison explained, and brought with him an
international flair, adding to the hopes of AViands to bring more options to the menu. Since
AViands is an international, profession food service, the idea seems to stick well.
Since AViands is what Crown would refer to as an outsider, Davison stated that one of
her goals is to develop partnership within the different departments. She wants to provide for the
needs of every department and build foundational relationships. This ties into one of Davisons
personal goals; to give more than what people expect of AViands. This way we see to
everyones needs and ideas, she stated.
As we well know, Crown can become a bubble for students and staff to hibernate in. This
bubble can make it difficult to let those outsiders in, and get to know them as we would
anyone else. Davison explained that it was like that at first, but that feeling has long since passed.
Were treated nicely here, she reassured, theres really no division. We feel like a part of
Crown.
A part of Crown they are, especially in the area of student employment. Students start
usually at four in the afternoon, she explained, shifts usually start around four and end at six.
We really try at AViands to work with students, since college is the first priority in their lives.
Student employment offers flexible hours, and work thats honest and made fun by the presence
of peers and open individuals.
Davison could say nothing bad about Crown or its students, Kids learn here. Upon
graduation, we feel they have a good idea of the world is like and how to work hard. When
asked about Crown and the schools atmosphere, she stated that prayer and accountability were
hugely present, which is good. You just dont see that in kids anymore.
One of the reasons AViands is high on the food service ranking scale is because they
combine strategic thinking and creativity to the way they run their business, as stated in the
AViands mission statement. Davison backs up that claim, stating that her team here at Crown is
creative and very much a team.
We make decisions as a group, she assured, and we talk over events with our staff.
When we have to prepare food for the Barn Bash or Homecoming, we sit down our staff and ask
them for ideas. We brainstorm together. Brainstorming with your entire staff is a quality most
food services dont possess. Decisions are made by the General Manager or the owner, and the
staff is used to see to those decisions and make sure they are done swiftly, strongly, and
correctly.
Theres respect here, Davison commented, a great respect. People know who is in
charge and give them what they deserve. And in return for that respect, we managers get down in
the trenches with our staff and help with the jobs no one wants to do, she laughed at this,
everyone dishes in this kitchen. Including me.
Part of our hope at Crown is to train people to lead a world that is very lost and in need of
leading. That requires ingenuity and dedication, qualities Davison sees in Crown students and
staff. Davison, as well as other organizations around the community, really feel that Crown has
an aura about it that makes it stand out. We feel connected here at Crown. We love being
here, Davison said.
It would appear that Crown has a good sense of aviance about it; as noted by AViands
and the community. Though we as students may feel like were in the Crown bubble, we still
are influencing the community around us, and it would seem for the better. Perhaps we should
reexamine our calling: Called to Serve, Prepared to Aviance?