From staff reports
---- — Indiana University Kokomo is bringing a hometown flavor to its Cougar Country Café.
Kokomo-based Rozzi’s Catering will be the campus food service provider starting July 1, offering daily service in the Kelley Student Center Commons, in addition to catering campus events.
Interim Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke said she is happy to partner with Rozzi’s, a local, family-owned business, to bring their popular food to campus.
“We are pleased to bring this local business to our campus,” she said. “This will enhance our food service and our students’ experience here. Not only will Rozzi’s offer great food, but they want to make the Cougar Country Café a cool place where students will want to spend time.”
Jennifer Rozzi, co-owner and vice president, plans to bring the company’s famous lasagna, signature sandwiches, and other favorites to campus, along with more hot foods, and vegetarian and vegan options.
“We are going to reflect the campus community and what they’ve been asking for,” she said. “We want the Cougar Country Café to be that mom and pop store, the local hometown restaurant everyone gathers at. We are all about being part of the family, and feeding people, and gathering around food.”
She anticipates offering pasta, omelet, or waffle stations from time to time, and using locally produced foods.
Rozzi’s ties to the campus go back many years. She and her sister, JoAnn Rozzi, who is co-owner and the executive chef, decided to purchase the Continental Ballroom with assistance from IU Kokomo Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) students. The students analyzed all the opportunities and advised that purchasing the ballroom was the best choice. The students performed a marketing and promotion analysis, reviewed finances, and analyzed what the competition was doing. The Rozzis took their final report to the bank, where it helped gain approval for the purchase.
“It seems like we are coming full circle,” Jennifer Rozzi said. “IU Kokomo partnered with us to expand our business before, and now we are part of the campus family, growing with them.”
Rozzi’s will continue to operate the Continental Ballroom and its catering business.
The Cougar Country Café will close from July 1 until its grand re-opening Tuesday, July 9.