Red Mango enhances food court dessert options

For students looking to get their frozen yogurt fix without crossing U.S. 1, a Red Mango cart located at the Hurricane Food Court arrived this semester in response to student demand for an on-campus dessert option.

The Red Mango cart was custom-designed for UM to fit temporarily as a free-standing vendor in the food court.

A full-service location will be available permanently in the forthcoming Student Activities Center, said Ana Alvarez, the director of Dining Services.

“Red Mango frozen yogurt offers a refreshing product that provides consumers the enjoyment of an all natural frozen treat,” Alvarez said. “It’s a great addition to our campus dining program.”

First proposed by the Student Government (SG) administration, led by former SG President Brandon Mitchell, the dessert project had been in the works for a year and a half. The final selection of Red Mango was just settled and announced this summer, according to SG Executive-at-Large External Bhumi Patel, whose role is to connect SG with students and organizations on campus.

“We want to make sure that we have a well-rounded campus with every dining option,” Patel said. “If you look at the past administration’s platforms, they actually had three big dining platforms. They had late-night dining, take-out dining, and a dessert option.”

Patel worked with other Student Government members on the Dining Services Advisory Board – now part of the new Campus Relations Advisory Board – to make this happen. She said that a survey of the student body showed that frozen yogurt was the most desirable dessert option, and Chartwells narrowed the choices down to two options – Pinkberry and Red Mango – before making the final decision.

Chartwells, which manages the retail food service locations on the Coral Gables campus, is the franchisee of the Red Mango cart, which thus falls under the university’s contract with Chartwells, according to Alvarez.

“Bringing the idea forth was the biggest thing that we did and then we were just pushing them along, writing proposals for it, showing that our only other real dessert option on campus was a Frosty from Wendy’s,” Patel said.

Patel also said that there was a need for dessert late at night, so the fact that the cart is open from noon until 10 p.m. will be beneficial for students.

Senior Jessica Younis said she was pleasantly surprised to see Red Mango in the food court when she returned this fall.

“I’m glad it’s frozen yogurt. I wouldn’t want it to be pastries or anything,” Younis said. “It’s a healthier option.”

Patel said she is also very excited about Red Mango and had dined from the cart twice in two days since its grand opening.

“Just like all the other students, I used to have to go across U.S. 1 to TCBY or My Yogurt Bliss and I think it’s really exciting that we have something on campus,” she said.