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The Viking Cafe Story


For years Solvang School has had a vision of serving nutritious and delicious, cooked from scratch food to our students. Thanks to the generous support of voters who passed Measure J in 2006,  we were able to build a beautiful multi-purpose room/cafeteria and kitchen.  In August of 2011, students began eating lunch in the Viking Cafe.

Leaving a lucrative career as a fine dining chef and restaurant consultant, Chef Bethany Markee stepped up to the challenge of leading the Solvang School food revolution. She and her team are committed to serving lunches every day that are nutritious and kid friendly.  You won't find any processed foods in the Viking Cafe. Bethany and her team cook almost exclusively from scratch.  They make all their own sauces, salad dressings, soups and they bake bread whenever possible. The menu emphasizes whole grains, low sugar and local grown, fresh produce. A vegetable and serving of fresh fresh fruit is included in every meal.  Some of the foods that many of our students have tried for the first time in the Viking Cafe and have loved include fresh sugar snap peas, kale chips, roasted cauliflower and blueberry-banana smoothies.

As part of our commitment to educating students about good eating habits, the Viking Cafe does not serve flavored milk.  Students have the choice of fat-free or 1% milk from dairies that do not use hormones.

If your student is a vegetarian or has special dietary needs, the Viking Cafe cafe can provide a vegetarian meal if the Chef has advance notice. Please make arrangements with Chef Bethany at 697-4448.

The smiles on the faces of our students and the positive feedback we have received has been overwhelming. Thank you for your support!

Viking Cafe and the Orfalea Foundations

Solvang School District extends our thanks for the support of the s'Cool Food Initiative sponsored by the Orfalea Foundations. The s'Cool Food Initiative has help us realize our dream.  Click on the link below to find out about their mission to empower school districts in Santa Barbara County to implement and sustain nourishing, cook-from-scratch food programs.

s'Cool Food Initiative

Fresh organic produce coming our way...

Santa Ynez Valley Fruit and Vegetable Rescue has joined with the Viking Cafe in our mission to provide students with fresh, local grown produce.  SYVFVR is a local 501(c) non-profit organization dedicated to gleaning produce from local farms and markets. Under the direction of Terry Delaney and lots of volunteers, they reap tens of thousand of pounds of unpicked food from farms and unpurchased food from farmer's markets and donate them to local organizations. Organic produce is most often cost prohibitive for a school food program. Our alliance with SYVFVR will make fresh, organic produce available to our students.

Join the Solvang School Glean Team!

SYVFVR depends entirely on the labor of volunteers. We have put together a Solvang School Glean Team. We work mostly on Saturdays harvesting food from farms that is delivered directly to school.   If you are interested in volunteering, contact Amy Derryberry at amy@veggierescueorg or Cynthia Michaud at cynthiam@solvangschool.org.  

Click on this link to see the SYVFVR website and to find out more information about this wonderful organization.

Santa Ynez Valley Fruit and Vegetable Rescue