On Oct. 1, Washington State Ferries began transitioning from its previous food vendor, Olympic Cascade Services, to Centerplate. Olympic Cascade Service has until Oct. 10 to vacate the San Juan Island ferries.
Olympic Cascade Services, based in Bremerton, and CDX Dining Services out of Mukilteo, operated the majority of the food galleys on the ferries since the early 2000s, including the San Juan runs. They filed an official complaint with Thurston County Superior Court in an attempt to the halt the awarding of the contract to Centerplate.
“They [WSF] violated their mission in awarding the contract to Centerplate,” said Nove Meyers in April.
Meyers is President of Olympic Cascade Services, who placed a bid to provide food service on board all WSF ferries.
“In our rejection letter they said we were highly qualified. How they came this decision is totally beyond me,” he added.
Some of Centerplate’s proposals include consistent hours across the ferry system, with additional service on the San Juan Island routes, and serving local items such as Hempler’s beef and ham, Uli’s sausage, Beecher’s cheese and Stimson Estate Cellers wine. The corporation also has plans for “creative concepts for using existing spaces, such as opening additional coffee and beer kiosks on the Jumbo Mark II class ferries,” according the WSF website.
“What people really need to ask themselves is, are they satisfied with the state of food on the ferries now?” said Ian Sterling, Washington State Ferry spokesman. Complaints in the past have ranged from poor food choices, inconsistent hours and complete lack of food service to high prices. WSF chose Centerplate, with their more than 23 years of experience in providing concessions in a maritime environment, in part to help combat these problems.
– Cali Bagby and Courtney Oldwyn contributed to this story.