Any college student can relate to the need for good, healthy, quick food to grab in between classes. However, often times the fast food offered is unhealthy or impractical to eat on the go. Solène De Clippeleir (Col '18) is providing a solution to this problem with her company, The Crêpe Society.
The Crêpe Society is for UVA students, faculty, and staff, who are looking for delicious, healthy lunch on the go. The creperie serves authentic French sweet and savory crepes. The Crêpe Society offers a menu with healthy, gluten-free alternatives made with locally sourced ingredients that students faculty and staff can enjoy on the go. Right now, the Crêpe Society is located at the café in the i.Lab. However, in the fall of 2020, The Crêpe Society food truck will be on UVA's grounds for everyone to enjoy.
"I was an Art History student, if you know the campus, the Art History department is very far away from the rest of campus," Solène explains. "Sometimes I only had 10-15 minutes to get from one end of the campus to the other, and no time to eat." Solene remembers being disappointed with the current food trucks and the dining hall food. "One of the trucks always had a huge line, so I could never get food on time and even when I could, it wasn't healthy. It was a lot of fried food and no greens what so ever," Solène recounts. She knew there was a better way to do this.
Solène noticed how long the lines were every day and saw that there was an apparent demand for fast and convenient food other than dining hall food. Growing up in Paris, France, Solène is used to having crêpes sold on every street corner, "I was craving a crêpe spot one day, and it switched for me: we need a Crêpe food truck on campus!"
One of Solène's main goals is to provide healthier options than are currently offered on campus. People on-the-go need something portable and practical to take to class that is fast and filling. Crêpes perfectly fit that mold. In addition to promoting healthy, locally grown food, Solène partners with companies that have a larger mission. For example, she is working with a water company called Just Water that donates 2% of their proceeds to Flint, MI.
Solène recently catered an event at the i.Lab where she provided sweet and savory crêpes for 35 people. While Solène says this was one of the hardest things she's had to do, she learned a lot. "The night before the catering, I sampled the batter that worked for me in France, and it did not work with the machine I have now," Solène said. "So, I had to tweak the batter, and it took me a lot longer than expected. I stayed up all night with my dad preparing for the catering the next day. I learned a lot in a very short amount of time, and I am extremely proud of myself." Solène's dad traveled all the way from France to help Solène start her company.
On August 1st, the Crêpe Society will have its soft launch at the café in the i.Lab. Solène wants to have time to try her product and test things within the i.Lab so she can perfect her recipe and tailor her menu for her food truck. Solène is planning on taking the profit she makes at her café in the i.Lab to eventually purchase her food truck. Look out for the Crêpe Society food truck in the fall of 2020, and in the meantime, stop by the i.Lab starting August 1st to try some crêpes, coffee, and ice cream!