By: Kristen Swiger
It’s no secret that LSU has seen its fair share of negative effects from the recent budget cuts, but one campus location is thriving despite surrounding money troubles.
The Dairy Store has been a part of LSU’s campus since 1956 and is slowly gaining popularity among the student population. Its location tucked away between Tureaud Hall and Patrick Taylor Hall makes the store easy to pass up.
Chuck Boeneke, Dairy Store manager, said that the store is different from other campus units in that it generates its own revenue rather than receive money from the state.
“We generate our own revenue and out of that revenue, we take our own expenses out,” said Boeneke.
Most people are also surprised to know that the Dairy Store gets all of its milk from its very own dairy farm right off River Road. Both milk and cheese from the dairy farm are used to make the homemade ice cream right in the facility.
Leo Johnson, Dairy Store employee, helps make the ice cream once a week and said that is takes almost all day to it. “We get milk from the LSU cows, we get cream from the local creamery, we mix it up with sugar, water, all that good stuff, and we make ice cream every week. All the ice cream served in the store, we made it,” said Johnson.
However, ice cream isn’t the only product available to students. Meat and cheese is also pre-packaged and ready to buy on a daily basis. Boeneke said that the goat and lamb meat is rather beneficial for business, because both are difficult to find in supermarkets around town.
Even though the Dairy Store had to cut down on two full-time manager positions, the budget cuts haven’t really affected student workers.
Boeneke said, “Our main focus here is teaching and research. The store provides an outlet for the products that are made in order to train the students how to make them.”
Not only has the Dairy Store been seemingly unaffected by budget cuts, but the sales have even increased from past semesters. Revenue has gone up over 50 percent in the last two years.
To help out the dining halls on-campus like the 5 and the 459, the Dairy Store supplies them with about 50 containers of ice cream a week. Ice cream in cups, cones, and three-gallon containers seem to be the most popular items sold, and the store usually sells about 300 to 500 ice cream cups or cones per day.
Containers, however, are usually heavier and more difficult to carry. As a result, Boeneke said that the store plans on reordering more of the smaller 3-ounce cups, which cost about $4000. The store also changed its hours to stay open until 5:30 pm on the weekdays in order to accommodate easy streets being blocked off early.
Currently, sixteen ice cream flavors are available to customers and sixteen more rotate out. Employees Ty’Quan Miller and Leo Johnson agree that both students and visitors are a popular sight in the store, and business has not seemed to decrease at all over the past few months despite economy concerns.
“Hey, LSU we have the best and I’ve actually taken ice cream home to some of my friends, and they were like it’s better than Bluebell and Kleinpeter all put together,” said Miller.
Heather Higgins, frequent Dairy Store visitor, also said that as long as students love ice cream, the store shouldn’t have any problems gaining profits. “It’s something students want and so they make it a part of their budget,” she said.
All of the revenue made from the Dairy Store goes back into operating both the store and the dairy farm.