‘More than just food’: SDSU Foodies explore networking opportunities

by Anna Waletzko, Staff Columnist

We all know that the food on campus can get tiring, but some students have taken action. Meet the people combining management experience and delicious meals: the SDSU Foodies.

Founded in 2009, the group is now entering its seventh year. But this isn’t your run of the mill food-lovers group.

Last year the group traveled to San Francisco. Their trip was documented on their website, showing photos attending “Off The Grid” — a large gourmet food truck gathering in different locations throughout the city. A group blog post described, “delicately made shawarma” and “giant crème puffs.”

The group also explored the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, and the blog talks about the abundance of organic local foods, as well as fresh blooms, and even steamed buns.

Trips are financed through fundraising — specifically through raffling during hosted events. The group has sponsors like Sea World, Jake’s Del Mar, Six Flags, and Epicurean.

In addition to trips, the Foodies also explore locally. Each month, they pick a restaurant to tour. Last Thursday, Sept. 17th, they dined at Tom Ham’s Lighthouse on Harbor Island in San Diego.

These events are sponsored monthly and usually cost anywhere between $20-$25, depending on the location. But it doesn’t just include food. A typical event will include the meal, of course, but also come with talks from the restaurant management as well as behind the scenes tours.

For many students this is a great networking opportunity. SDSU Foodies receives guided support from the California Restaurant Association. They’re currently trying to plan a trip up to the headquarters in Sacramento. The CRA helps Foodie members find internships and volunteer opportunities.

Many of the members are hospitality and management majors, simply because the group has become, not only a great way to try new and delicious foods, but also to learn the ins and outs of the restaurant industry.

SDSU Foodie and board member communications and marketing executive Ana Sanchez said, “It’s much more than just food. Our love of food is what leads us to network and build learning experiences for our members.”

The group is open to anyone, and they try to keep the costs to a minimum because they’re all students. Some members are business majors, although hospitality and tourism management with an emphasis in the restaurant industry is the main major of the Foodies. Even alumni are welcome! Students get discounts, but non-students are welcome as well.

Really, the only pre-requisite to join the Foodies is, yeah, you guessed it, a love of food.

If you want to see mouth-watering food pics and learn more about the group, check out the SDSU Foodies on their Instagram and Facebook pages at FoodieSDSU.

Be sure to check out their next event, on Oct. 23 at San Diego’s Epicurean. The event will have a coffee class, farm tour, lunch, and brewery tour.