Opportunity: New Hilliard Library Branch Seeking Food Vendor Proposals

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A rendering of the new Hilliard Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

The new Hilliard Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library has announced an opportunity for a vendor looking to lease space to operate a cafe inside the library. Vendors should be able to stock salads, sandwiches, coffee, drinks, snacks, and vegetarian items, without cooking on site.

The Columbus Metropolitan Library kicked off construction of the new Hilliard Branch in August of 2017, with plans for the branch to be completed by summer of 2018. When it opens, it will be the largest branch in the system, at about 60,000 square feet. The current branch was one of the most heavily used in 2014 with 1,844,604 items checked out. DesignGroup serves as the architect for the new Hilliard branch located at 4500 Hickory Chase Way, Hilliard, OH 43026.

Map of the new Hilliard Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.
Map of the new Hilliard Branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

The current request is only for the Hilliard Branch, however, there’s potential for future lease space in one other new building that will be bid out separately.

The Friends Board will give serious consideration to prospective café vendors who demonstrate the strongest capability to represent the library’s values of Respect, Integrity and Inspiration and to conform to the following criteria and issues:

1. The types of reasonably priced food and beverage items that could be provided in a turnkey operations, such as high-quality, freshly made coffee in a variety of forms (e.g. regular, espresso, cappuccino, etc.), cold drinks, selection of salads and sandwiches and appealing snack items (e.g. bagels, assorted baked goods, nutritional bars, etc.). Nutritional information and vegetarian items should be provided. No cooking facilities will be permitted.
2. Vendor must comply with all applicable Federal, State and City laws, ordinances, regulations and codes. Vendor is responsible to contact, arrange and comply with Health Department regulations.
3. Vendor will operate out of a predefined space provided by the library. The café operation is approximately 296 square feet (includes service space of 188 sf and storage/prep space of 108 sf) and will include cabinetry, countertops, utilities and several pieces of equipment:
a. Ice Machine
b. Reach-In Under Counter Refrigerator
c. Refrigerated Self-Service Counter Case
d. Reach-In Glass Door Refrigerator
e. Reach-In Solid Door Refrigerator (back of house storage)
f. Stainless Steel Table (back of house prep area)
4. Vendor will provide cleaning and maintenance services that meet the standards of the library in all areas used by the café operation.
5. Desired hours of operation include, but can be negotiable:
Mon – Thurs: 
9:00am – 8:00pm
Fri – Sat: 9:00am – 5:30pm
Sun: 1:00pm – 4:30pm
6. Vendor will include Friends of the Library signage indicating sponsorship and provide
a 15% discount for Friends members and library staff.
7. Vendor will provide a clean, efficient, high-quality and aesthetically pleasing coffee,
lunch and snack operation, and will operate in a manner that enhances the library
customer experience.
8. Friends of the Library prefers regular monthly lease payments, but is willing to
consider other lease terms.
9. Demonstrated financial stability and responsibility.

Friends will select a vendor that it believes will best meet the criteria and conditions listed above. Friends is currently considering a two (2) year agreement with a right of renewal.

Contents of Proposal
To apply for consideration, submit a proposal expressing, from both a culinary and a business management perspective, the capability of your organization to best meet the needs of the Friends’ café service. Include in your proposal:
• The legal name of the business and the main address of the business.
• Contact information (including name, e-mail address and phone number) of the
submitting vendor and/or vendor’s representative.
• Copy of vendor’s business license.
• Proof of vendor’s insurance.
• At least three references that will support, document or verify your performance in
providing services and/or operating a business. Please include contact name, email
address and phone number.
• A sample menu of items vendor would most likely serve. What products do you intend to
offer? What size(s)? What price(s)? What lunch items and nutritional snacks do you
intend to offer? Please list all proposed items and unit prices.
• Please list preferred lease model and any possible shared revenue opportunities you
might consider.
• Résumé of the management staff.

The proposal must be signed by an official who is authorized to make legally binding decisions for the organization.

Be advised that the submission of financial information about your organization will be requested to determine your financial stability and reliability before any selection is made, but is not required with this proposal.

Submit your information no later than 12/15/2017 to:
Friends of the Columbus Metropolitan Library ATTN: Shannon Hoepf
96 South Grant Avenue
Columbus, OH 43215 shoepf@columbuslibrary.org