Ever wanted to learn about the hard-working people of Sodexo at Saint Mary’s and were too shy to ask? Spoon’s got you covered with our monthly employee feature, Sodexo Spotlight. First up, Matt Carroll.

Spoon: What is your official job title?

MC: General Manager and Spoon Saint Mary’s Supervisor.

Spoon: What are your responsibilities?

MC: I manage all resources for the college, manage all the people, employees, and it’s all geared toward taking care of the students and the community.

I oversee purchasing, labor management, sustainability, Legacy Garden, marketing, HR, facilities management, and finance reports.

Saint Mary’s being a private school allows for the community feel and like we’re all working together, rather than a contract relationship.

Spoon: What’s it like to be Matt Carroll on a typical work day?

MC: My daily tasks are to manage employees, make sure food flows, and that people are all doing their jobs. And the main focus is to serve the students.

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Courtesy of Sodexo at Saint Mary’s College of California.

Spoon: How did you get started with Sodexo?

MC: I started with Sodexo as a student worker at Chico State with company called Saga (sound familiar?). They were a contract food service company bought by Marriott, who sold it to Sodexo. That’s I guess why people at Saint Mary’s call Oliver Hall “Saga.” So I worked with resident dining, I was a student cook, then student manager.

My first management job at Saint Mary’s was two days after graduation. I worked at CSU Hayward, SF state, then back to SMC as General Manager in 2000. I was a district manager same year Marriott bought Saga, then when I came back to SMC and it was still Saga because Sodexo hadn’t bought it yet. Sodexo is headquartered in France, and half of their business is in the U.S., and they’re in eighty-two countries.

Spoon: What are some of your best memories so far at Saint Mary’s?

MC: We had a big fair on campus for 50th year celebration called “Gaelabration.” It was the sesquicentennial and it was the same year as Sodexo was celebrating 50 years of food service in 2012.

Then there’s Alumni Weekend every year, graduation every year, De La Salle week, Wednesday barbecues, and Cultural Nights. We do a lot of work for all those, and they’re always fun.

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Photo courtesy of Sodexo at Saint Mary’s College of California

Spoon: What are some myths about Sodexo people should know?

MC: We do know we have a big problem with people stealing. Food, plates, forks. We are trying to keep that from happening. We’re also working with clubs, and RAs in trying to reduce waste and promote less waste.

Spoon: Do you have any pro tips for students in the dining hall?

MC: Last year we started separating trash. It’s working pretty well.

TIP: You don’t have to clean your plate, they will separate trash for you in the back to make sure it’s separated correctly and not contaminated. But, when in doubt, put it in the landfill. Or if you don’t know what to do, just put it on the rack.

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Photo courtesy of stmarys-ca.edu

Spoon: What awesome things do you expect to see from Spoon on campus?

MC: I’d like to see more education about food. They can work with me on a couple different things like recipes from home, chef battles with students, and cooking classes.

Spoon: Do you cook?

MC: Yes, of course I cook.

Spoon: What do you like to cook?

MC: Last night I made a pot roast at home, it was good. I cook all kinds of stuff at home. Now it’s just my wife and me, so it’s harder to cook for only two people than when the kids were at the house with their friends. I do like to just experiment with stuff. I also like to find recipes from the Internet. There’s a video I saw for a fried stuffed chicken with spinach, I want to make that. So if we want to do something different for catering, a barbecue, an event, I can find it online, especially new salads.

The catering people and Sodexo look for new items all the time. As far as students, they don’t unless it’s for a Cultural Night, but it would be nice if they did.

PRO TIP ALERT: You can submit recipe ideas to Sodexo.

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Gif courtesy of gifrific.com

Spoon: What’s your favorite food?

MC: My wife makes great fried chicken, so I’d have to say that. Probably my all-time favorite is Dungeness crab. I eat it cold with bread and salad. I haven’t eaten any this year, though.

Spoon: What do you like best about Saint Mary’s?

MC: I just love the family feeling that’s here, people here are very inclusive. Everybody just works together to make it happen. It’s a great place to work. I thank God every day when I drive into campus. It’s a beautiful place to come to work.

To submit a recipe you want to see in Oliver, email Matt Carroll here: mcarroll@stmarys-ca.edu.

Don’t forget to see what’s buzzing in the Saint Mary’s Legacy Garden: https://saintmarysca.sodexomyway.com/Images/SMC_Bees_FINAL_tcm1796-103292.pdf