Chilliwack secondary teaching chef, Richard Niezen (left), chats with guests during the grand opening of Edible Greens, a salad bar at the school on Monday. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Chilliwack secondary goes green with new, modern salad bar

Edible Greens offers healthier food options, shorter cafeteria wait times at Chilliwack high school

It’s just a small food kiosk, but a Chilliwack secondary teacher is hoping it’ll make a big impact.

The freshly opened Edible Greens salad bar was launched Monday inside the school, located directly across the hall from the cafeteria.

The new salad bar offers “options for people to get healthy food that will help them do better in school,” said Richard Niezen, teaching chef at CSS.

It’s a place where students and staff can grab a custom-made salad for $4 and add toppings like peppers, tomatoes, seeds, nuts, and dried fruit. Protein, like chicken, can be added for $1.

The reason behind Edible Greens is two-fold: to shorten wait times for food, and to offer healthier options.

It all started with the addition of Grade 9s at the high school in 2018, and an influx of about 400 students. So, during the 2018-2019 school year, the culinary department did a trial run of the salad bar in a kiosk that was almost always vacant and only being used occasionally for things like popcorn sales.

“The response was outstanding and we carried on providing a daily salad bar for the full 2018-2019 school year,” Niezen said.

He then approached Chilliwack Elks Lodge, and the Kiwanis Clubs of Sardis and Chilliwack for a more permanent solution.

“They all got on board and donated some funds to help us create this,” Niezen said, adding they donated a total of $3,500 for the project.

Edible Greens looks like something you’d find at Granville Island Market. The professionally built kiosk features horizontal wood paneling, corrugated metal and modern signage.

When not in use, the condiment and cutlery stand wheels into the kiosk and is closed behind two bright red sliding doors.

The Chilliwack school district did a lot of the carpentry for Edible Greens, the metal work was done by Ironside Design Manufacturing Inc., signage by Platinum Signs, and the counter top was built by CSS alumnus Glenn Muxlow of Timbers and Tables.

Niezen is hoping the salad bar will also help keep kids at school during the lunch hour instead of heading off campus to find food where some kids return late, or not at all.

Edible Greens is open every lunch hour at CSS.

RELATED: Students in the Fraser East work hard, need more mental health support

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Chilliwack secondary teaching chef, Richard Niezen (chef’s hat), chats with guests during the grand opening of Edible Greens, a salad bar at the school on Monday. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Chilliwack secondary teaching chef, Richard Niezen (left), chats with guests during the grand opening of Edible Greens, a salad bar at the school on Monday. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Edible Greens is a new salad bar that opened at Chilliwack secondary on Monday. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

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