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Looking for an inexpensive, home-cooked breakfast and lunch option in Williams? Look no further than the Colusa County Education Village.
On Feb. 1, the Village Bistro opened its doors for the purpose of filling a need both nutritionally and financially. Serving up daily soup and hot plate offerings, as well as healthy salads and sandwiches, all made fresh daily.
“This is a retail outlet to provide quality food for staff and students on site and the public,” said Colusa County Office of Education (CCOE) Superintendent, Mike West. “We developed this concept to be an income stream for the County Office of Education, so we don’t have to keep asking the taxpayers for money.”
When the Education Village facility was built, the on-site kitchen was developed as a warming kitchen and didn’t meet the needs of the facility.
“It served no purpose. We couldn’t prepare meals, and had to have someone else make them at another site, then deliver to the facility. It didn’t make sense – so we upgraded the kitchen,” said West.
In doing so, West reached out to Food Service Supervisor Margaret Harlow.
“Mike asked me to put together a plan, and once it was approved we went with it,” said Harlow.
The Village Bistro, located at the Colusa County Education Village Multipurpose Room, 499 Marguerite Street in Williams, provides the opportunity not only to serve CCOE but the public as well.
“We are building an inviting atmosphere with bistro tables and dividers to make the Village Bistro feel more attractive and less like you’re in a cafeteria,” said Harlow.
Serving various hot and cold food items the Village Bistro has been receiving great reviews.
“Things are progressing well,” said West. “We are seeing a nice flow of customers and are getting good feedback from customers.”
Harlow added that people like the affordability and fresh, home-cooked food.
“On Wednesday, we had our crispy beef tacos with rice and beans, and they were a hit. Though Friday, people couldn’t get enough of the cheese enchiladas,” said Harlow.
She added that as things progress, the Bistro will be adding or changing menu items as customer needs change.
In addition to serving the public, the Bistro also feeds about 500 students and children of the Maxwell State Program, Williams Children Center and the preschool learning center, as well as the Arbuckle children centers and head start program.
“We feed a lot out of this kitchen, and it’s amazing what we can provide,” said Harlow. “We’re pretty busy.”
The kitchen has a staff of six, including Harlow, who cook, serve, and deliver the meals.
“We have a great staff with many years of experience,” said Harlow, who has over 30 years expertise in the food service industry. She added that the staff has a combined 80 years in the food industry.
“I enjoy working here. It can be a bit busy at times, but I love what I do,” said Lupe Silva-Mandrigal.
The Village Bistro is open Monday — Friday, 7:30 AM to 2:00 PM, serving breakfast and lunch. The Village Bistro accepts both cash and credit card.
To go, or large lunch orders can be placed by calling (530) 473-0000.