Call Hall Dairy Bar serves as gathering place for students, community

Shannon Rogge, fifth year senior in animal science, hands a cone to a customer at the Dairy Bar in Call Hall on Thursday afternoon, Nov. 6, 2014. (Hannah Hunsinger | The Collegian)

The Call Hall Dairy Bar is a place of learning, laughter and memories for many that enter its doors.

The Dairy Bar, attached to Call Hall, is located on Mid-Campus Drive on the north end of campus. Cleve Humbert, a self-described Dairy Bar regular of Manhattan, stops by almost every morning for coffee and usually picks up some fresh milk while he’s there.

“It’s a nice place, I like it here,” Humbert said.

One full-time employee and up to 10 student workers compose the Dairy Bar’s staff, according to the animal science and industry’s web page.

Paige Kriley, sophomore in entrepreneurship, started working at Call Hall as a freshman last fall. According to Kriley, her family history helped her decide to work at the Dairy Bar.

“I decided to work here because both of my sisters worked here and really enjoyed it,” Kriley said. “Plus it’s an on-campus job, which is nice.”

Many of the women who worked with Kriley at the Dairy Bar when she started have since moved on, allowing her to move up and take on more responsibility. Kriley’s job now includes making the lunches and breakfasts, cleaning, restocking, as well as, cutting and resealing cheese. She also scoops ice cream for customers looking to fill their sweet tooth.

“There are 30 different flavors of ice cream available at any one time,” Kriley said. “We offer 40 flavors total, some of which are seasonal.”

Larry Siebert, 1973 alumnus, said Call Hall was the only place he could ever get his favorite flavor of ice cream – chocolate chip.

“A group of four or five of us would go down to Call Hall after classes,” Siebert said. “It was always a good time.”

Siebert has fond memories of going to the Kansas State Fair, where there was always a sponsored Call Hall ice cream stand that he said he never missed.

“Call Hall is the best ice cream you can get,” Siebert said.

While many might agree with Siebert, the Dairy Bar isn’t just about ice cream. Its employees sell a variety of dairy products, all of which come from Call Hall’s dairy processing plant – conveniently located just down the hall. Some such products are half gallon ice cream, 3-gallon ice cream rounds, gallon and half gallon milk, cheese, butter and eggs.

In August of 2006, there was an expansion of the sales area and the meat department was moved into the Dairy Bar, according to the K-State Facilities website. This meant that K-State beef, pork and lamb was added to the Dairy Bar’s product selection.

Specialty seasonal items – such as smoked turkey, smoked hams, summer sausage, barbeque beef, barbeque pork and wildcat loaf – are also offered by the meat department.

According to Kriley, who works 22 hours per week and is taking 15 credit hours this semester, working for the Dairy Bar gives her the opportunity to practice time management.

“Working here has given me good experience and helped me to manage my time better (between) balancing work, class and homework,” Kriley said.

However, it’s the daily experiences that make working those long hours worth it for Kriley.

“My favorite thing about working here at the Dairy Bar is the friendships I have gained with the girls I work with,” Kriley said. “There are also a lot of regulars who I’ve gotten to know and like to joke with.”