Three organizations committed to innovation and improving public health outcomes through better eating have partnered to create the first markets in a healthcare setting. The mini market and specialty kitchen will be geared toward on-the-go healthcare workers, students, faculty and staff at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
Choice Market (Choice), based in Denver, and Health Hospitality Partners (HHP), based in St. Louis, have developed this unique concept, Mini-Mart, to be launched in collaboration with CU Anschutz in the second quarter of 2022. CU Anschutz Medical Campus, through a formal RFP process, established a partnership with HHP to enhance and modify food services in the University facilities on the campus. The new format will feature Choice Now, a technology that uses artificial intelligence and cameras to check out customers without the need for a cashier, and offer consumers high-quality prepared food, natural groceries and everyday necessities.
The inaugural location will also include Central, a Pan-American kitchen featuring customizable bowls, tacos, burritos, salads and sandwiches from sustainable, healthy ingredients sourced locally whenever possible. Central and Mini-Mart will be located in Research 2.
Mini-Mart was designed for non-traditional retail spaces such as hospitals, airports and campuses and is driven by the expertise of both partners in food, tech and hospitality. HHP and Choice have plans to expand the concept nationally.
“We couldn’t be more excited to announce this partnership with HHP and CU Anschutz,” said Mike Fogarty, founder and CEO of Choice. “At Choice, we firmly believe that food is medicine, and this innovative format will provide doctors, researchers, nurses, students and employees with 24/7 access to high-quality and nutritious options. This is truly a game-changer in the healthcare hospitality sector.”
High-tech setup to serve as national blueprint
Behind the scenes, the team at HHP worked closely with leadership at Choice and CU Anschutz to bridge the gap between academic medical campus and healthcare administrators and retail brands, bringing the types of consumer experiences and offerings people expect in their daily lives.
“As we have forged ahead during the COVID-19 pandemic to fulfill our mission to bring hospitality to healthcare and academic medical centers, Choice has separated itself from the pack of cutting-edge retailers who provide delicious, nutritious and affordable offerings for stakeholders throughout the healthcare ecosystem,” said Cory Sullivan, COO at Health Hospitality Partners. “We are looking forward to announcing additional locations around the country with this partnership in the year ahead.”
“This is an exciting time for our university community on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, with new, healthy, top-notch food offerings, to be easily available soon, during and outside of the traditional work hours, when our clinicians, researchers, students and others are needing options. We look forward to ways in which food services will be changing overall, and are very pleased to be partnering with these amazing groups!” said Terri C. Carrothers, executive vice chancellor for administration and finance, CFO at CU Anschutz.
“We are thrilled to partner with Choice and HHP to provide the thousands of hard-working healthcare professionals on our campus with nutritious dining options they deserve, especially after giving their all throughout the pandemic” said Jay Campbell, associate vice chancellor of Facilities Management and Planning at CU Anschutz. “We’re excited, too, to help establish a blueprint to be modeled on medical campuses nationwide.”