Agora Café (formerly known as Roots) was first opened and operated by UBC Food Services in the H.R. MacMillan building, home of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems (LFS). After UBC Food Services abandoned the site in 2004, the Food Nutrition and Health Student Committee requested permission to use the space to sell baked goods and lunches.
In September of 2005, Ashley Wan, a dietetics student, created and organized the very beginnings of Agora as a student volunteer-run café. Since that time, Agora has firmly established itself as an integral part of the LFS community and continues to expand its volunteer base to students in other faculties across the UBC campus. Agora is an innovative café that embraces UBC’s movement towards sustainability and food security, while simultaneously providing meaningful experiences for its volunteers.
Agora Café is a student volunteer-run, non-for-profit café at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver campus. Our goal is to provide affordable, accessible, healthy, local and organic food choices to students and faculty members while training volunteers in foodservice and business management. This is done to promote the values of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems and to aid in UBC’s movement towards sustainability.
We focus on:
Agora’s philosophy is largely based on the teachings taught in the core classes LFS 100, 250, 350 & 450. As such, Agora supports local and organic agriculture by purchasing the majority of its produce from the UBC Farm and the LFS Orchard Garden. We believe that by connecting our customers to our food system, we are helping to build our local economy and improve personal health and well-being.
In addition to being a student volunteer-run café, Agora is also committed to our volunteers because we see the value in providing food service experience to students at UBC. By volunteering at Agora, students gain experience in food preparation, customer service and broaden their interpersonal and networking skills. There are also many opportunities for volunteers to develop their leadership skills by assuming a position on the Executive Committee.
An important aspect of Agora’s philosophy is to increase food security at UBC. Therefore, the food that we serve at Agora will always aim to be affordable, available, appropriate, safe and sustainable. We are always working to minimize our waste output by composting and using dishware instead of disposable containers.