SOURCE: Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose

Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose

February 22, 2016 15:00 ET

Food Entrepreneur Sam Kass to Dedicate Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose's FoodShed

Former White House and Obama Family Chef and Senior Policy Advisor to Nutrition Joins Museum in Making the Case: "Healthy Food for Families - Healthy Bottom Line for Business"

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwired - February 22, 2016) -


Food entrepreneur Sam Kass joins Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose in shaking up food service for the family attraction industry with the museum's newly reimagined café, FoodShed, a national model and case study for cultural institutions wanting to make similar changes. Kass will help dedicate FoodShed on March 3 (details below), dispelling the myth that family attractions can't successfully offer healthy and sustainable food choices to families and children by proving instead that mission, values and the bottom line are compatible. At the end of 2015, after six months of operation, FoodShed revenue exceeded projections by 17% and was 39% more than the former café operator had collected in the same period the previous year. At Children's Discovery Museum, parents and caregivers are grateful to have healthy foods available and particularly thankful that the only beverage choices for children are water-based drinks and milk.

 "I was fascinated to learn about the museum's transformative café, because they are taking advantage of the direct access they have to parents who are making food decisions," said Mr. Kass. "They are uniquely engaging children and parents at the same time with the same message," added Kass.

As the former White House and personal chef to the Obama family, senior policy advisor for nutrition, and executive director of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign, Sam Kass brings depth and breadth to the topic of health and food.

As a key partner to the First Lady, Chef Kass cultivated the first vegetable garden at the White House since the Roosevelt administration, and enacted the first major changes to the school nutrition guidelines in 15 years. Mr. Kass knows firsthand about the importance of engaging kids in healthy living.

Mr. Kass will discuss the influence of food marketing and sustainable agriculture on a global scale, his impressions of the impact of FoodShed, and host an audience Q & A at the museum from 2 - 4p.m., March 3.

PRIVATE INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE WITH SAM KASS (contact Cecilia Clark to schedule)

A limited number of personal interviews with Mr. Kass are available at the museum from 12: 15 - 1:45 p.m.

Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose leads the nation in developing a successful model for family attractions with its commitment to healthy, delicious and whole food that is fresh, seasonal, minimally processed, low in added sugars, and free from additives, chemicals and artificial ingredients. In addition to the increased profits cited above, for the first time in the museum's history, the museum is sharing in revenues generated from café sales, which was one-third higher than projected. Customer feedback has been positive, staff have become regulars, and nearby downtown employees are eating there too.

 "We knew we had both the opportunity and the responsibility to take on the important role of healthy eating with children and families," said Marilee Jennings, executive director of Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose. "The challenge was to figure out how to make it work financially for a food service provider and the museum."

In 2013, the museum hired highly respected New York-based food consultant Karen Karp & Partners to disrupt the museum's concessions and better integrate the café with its values and its health and food-related exhibit and program areas and to develop a business model that supports sustaining both healthy bodies and healthy business results.

"The Museum no longer views food as a visitor amenity but rather an important educational outcome, said Ms. Jennings. "Helping kids understand where fresh produce comes from, what it looks like in its whole form, and how you prepare and eat it, is core to our mission" said Jennings. 

Believing that children are often catalysts of social change, young visitors at FoodShed watch fresh food being prepared and then select their own fresh vegetables and fruit from the season's locally-sourced produce at the Rainbow Station. The most popular item, the "Bento Box," further enhances the fun factor, allowing kids to choose items to create their own box. FoodShed is the final piece of a three-pronged approach undertaken by the museum to help children learn to "eat a rainbow every day" in order to develop a healthy body.

Over the past decade, the Museum has refocused exhibit and program spaces around this message, developed week-long Move It! festivals for families to encourage physical activity, and now with FoodShed is role-modeling how to incorporate fresh produce into children's daily lives. 

FoodShed continues Children's Discovery Museum's leadership in national conversations around issues affecting children and families. Programmatic decisions are rooted in the museum's strategic commitments like Childhood Obesity Prevention and Environmental Stewardship. FoodShed joins the Rainbow Market exhibit, Kids' Garden, and the 27,000 sq. ft. outdoor expansion, "Bill's Backyard," by engaging parents and children in making healthy food choices and environmental stewardship -- ultimately creating healthier communities.


FoodShed Dedication with Sam Kass, Food Entrepreneur, Former White House Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition

Thursday, March 3

2 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose, 180 Woz Way, San Jose

Samples of FoodShed's innovative menu will be served, including the signature fruit sparkler. Soda drinks are not sold at FoodShed.

In support of the national model, the case statement, Food is Discovery: Cultivating Culinary Experience for Mission Alignment , funded by The David and Lucile Packard Foundation , will be distributed at the event. 


Sam Kass will speak on the impact of food marketing and production on a global scale and give his impressions and insights on FoodShed and its future impact.

Karen Karp , president of Karen Karp & Partners, will discuss the project and share key findings from the case study, Food as Discovery: Cultivating Culinary Experience for Mission Alignment, written to provide other cultural institutions with a blueprint for change.

*Bios available upon request.

The museum's participation in the healthy food movement continues with Kids Food Festival, a community event on Sunday, March 6, and the current exhibit, Healthyville®, through May 8, 2016. 

About Children's Discovery Museum

With over 150 interactive exhibits and programs, Children's Discovery Museum of San Jose (CDM) is one of the largest museums of its kind in the nation. Since opening its doors in 1990, CDM has welcomed over 7 million visitors and has offered new exhibits each year that respond to children's diverse educational needs. The striking 52,000 square foot purple building was designed by Mexico City-based architect Ricardo Legorreta and is a beacon of discovery. Encompassing the broad themes of community, connections and creativity, hands-on exhibits invite self-directed, open-ended explorations. For more information about the Museum, visit

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