Elmhurst Memorial Hospital

Elmhurst Memorial Hospital relocated three miles south of the location where the hospital had stood for the past 85 years. The move created the opportunity for the food and nutrition department to rebrand its program, which is highlighted by the Wildflower Café. The wildflower concept was selected because it fit with the hospital’s overall design, which was built in the Prairie School style that was most notably used by Frank Lloyd Wright, who lived in Oak Park, Illinois.

The Café is set up in stations, including a deli bar, salad bar, wok station, grill, brick oven—where pizzas, calzones and breads are baked—and a carvery station for meats and other comfort foods. The café also offers grab-and-go items. Display cooking is used at the wok station, at the carvery, in the grill area and at the deli/salad bar area where Sizzling Salads are featured as a special every day. The foodservice department also changed from a traditional trayline to room service. The foodservice production kitchen is located on the ground floor below the first floor retail foodservice and dining room. A dedicated elevator links the two spaces. The kitchen produces meals for 250 patients using room service methodology. The retail cafeteria serves 850-1,000 customers at lunch. The retail space includes a finishing kitchen to support production for the remote space.

Scope of work included planning and programming for the patient service, non-patient services and food production systems. Services included; schematic design, equipment selection, design development documents including MEP connection information; architectural, engineering and interior design coordination; complete equipment contract documents; bid review and construction administration.


Location: Elmhurst, IL
Opening Date: June 2011
Equipment Cost: $2,175,000
Occupied Beds: 259
Peak Retail Meal Volume: 850-1,000


New Foodservice Department

“frk has had the good fortune to with Rippe Associates for more than 20 years on many projects together. Our focus is the K-12 market and we have always appreciated the deep knowledge base, attention to detail, and extensive experience the team at Rippe Associate provides for educational design. We have also greatly valued the professional, yet personal approach, their designers take with our clients. When working with Rippe, we are always confident the project will be a success!”

Thomas C. Wollan, AIA, LEED AP

Partner at frk architects + engineers

“When it comes to dietary planning, Rippe is always first on my list when team building. They have a strong understanding of all the issues, are creative problem solvers, and are consistent with their execution.”

Daniel J. Rectenwald, AIA, ACHA, NCARB

Vice President, Principal at HGA

"The development of Elmhurst Hospital’s replacement campus was complex. The Rippe team supported our vision to transform healthcare foodservice. The result was exceptional reviews from our patients and staff, along with a facility that supported efficient operations."

David E. Reeves

Past President of the Association for Healthcare Foodservice (AHF)



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