Havenwood of Maple Grove in Minnesota opened in 2021, a beautiful new senior living facility full of amenities to attract residents and make them feel at home. The campus includes a top-notch dining room with table service and a bistro for casual dining, all designed in partnership with Boelter Premier. “The team at Boelter knows what it takes to build out a kitchen design, from what works in a space to where to go to source the right type of equipment,” says Joe Kaplan of Havenwood. “In addition, their experience within the senior living segment helps when it comes to specific issues such as flexibility for serving in separate memory care residence halls or even to resident rooms.”
The Heart of the Operation – The Kitchen
Boelter’s team worked on previous Havenwood projects including Minnetonka, Onalaska and Richfield. While the overall design of the foodservice operations of each facility are similar, there were aspects of the previous operations that were modified or improved to make the Maple Grove facility more efficient and productive for the types of meals provided at the senior living facility.
One of the things Todd Olson, Boelter project manager, has perfected through his work in designing the Havenwood facilities is the workflow. “We made sure things move smoothly from delivery of food at the loading dock to transporting supplies to the kitchen, through to cooking, plating, and getting it out to the residents,” Olson says. “Even the dishwashing area was considered, positioning it in a way that is easily accessible to the staff as they bring dishes back, with plenty of room on the loading end of the washer to keep things from getting backed up.” One of the things Kaplan pointed out is the ease of access from the back door where things are delivered straight to the walk-in coolers and freezer.
Having the right equipment also helps improve productivity. For the Maple Grove location Olson sourced a large flattop grill rather than a combination of a smaller grill and a charbroiler. “In senior living facilities you’re cooking a lot of different things throughout the day, from pancakes and eggs to sandwiches and chicken breasts,” Kaplan says. “Having the flattop grill gives you the ability to cook what you need for each meal service.”
Another aspect of senior dining that is different from commercial restaurants is that residents tend to all want to come eat at about the same time as each other, early in the evening. “The larger flattop grill gives us the ability to cook a lot of the same thing, such as searing chicken breasts, so you can feed everyone in a timely manner,” Kaplan says.Havenwood’s Bistro Provides More Dining Options
One of the selling points of Havenwood at Maple Grove is the bistro, giving residents an alternative dining experience. Refrigerated display cases full of grab and go sandwiches and salads or muffins and yogurts and a coffee bar make this a fun place to grab a quick bite to eat with friends. “We designed the bistro right off the main kitchen to make it easy to source the make-ahead products in the display cases, and also so they can serve a selection of menu items from the main kitchen as well, such as hamburgers or grilled chicken sandwiches,” Olson says.
The plans for the bistro came about from the facility manager wanting to provide more variety and choice in residential dining opportunities. “It is situated next to a bar area, which gives it a casual feel like a corner deli,” Kaplan says. “It’s a little more casual, and people like to sit with friends and order a burger, for a change of pace once in a while.”Benefits of Boelter
Havenwood of Maple Grove is a perfect example of how Boelter’s expertise in senior living foodservice operations can create a successful operation. In addition to the full-service dining area and bistro, the facility also includes a satellite kitchen in the memory care residence hall. In this case, all the food is prepared in the main kitchen, and then transported to the memory care kitchen and served from a steam table. “There are beverage machines and coffee machines in that area, as well as refrigerators for food and medical supplies as needed,” Olson says. “We even built the area with an option to add a dishwasher in the future, if they decide not to take the serving ware back and forth to the main kitchen.”
Having a knowledgeable partner during the planning, design and construction process helps ensure the project goes smoothly and that the chef and staff have an enjoyable workspace for the many meals that will be prepared at the facility. “At Boelter, they know what’s going to work and not work in this space,” Kaplan says. “They’re a vital part of the construction team.”
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Read more about Todd Olson, and see some of his extensive project portfolio