Mayo Clinic’s Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center

In 1995, the Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center opened as an amenity for Mayo Clinic staff. As programs increased, the center moved to its own building in 2007. In 2014, a five-story expansion was added to the building, with lower floors dedicated to fitness and the upper floors featuring nutrition education programs. The center provides various experiences including lectures, cooking demonstrations, virtual food shopping, and cooking classes.

The teaching kitchen was designed with broadcast and recording abilities for the teaching chef. The demo station includes a six-burner range, charbroiler, two wall-mounted double-stacked convection ovens, with a sink on the front and back counter. The five participant workstations are designed to accommodate four people at each one and are equipped with prep and cooking equipment that would be found in home kitchens, but heavy-duty enough to handle the volume of students going through the program. The room was also designed with a glass wall along the corridor to bring in the light from the exterior windows with views of the city and allow passersby to view kitchen activities.

Though many ideas and layouts were considered for the production and serving area, the team decided the goal of efficient and unobtrusive foodservice support was a top priority on the list of requirements. The number of people eating at the facility fluctuates each day. The serving area has two serving lines featuring hot and cold wells. The foodservice team is able to adjust menu items to best accommodate the large group coming from the lecture hall or the small group attending a cooking demonstration.

The support kitchen includes cold prep with refrigeration close-by, an efficient hot food area, and a conveniently located warewashing area for the kitchen and dining area. An alcove between the dining and warewashing area is a bussing section which also blocks noise transferring into the dining area, making it a quieter environment and able to be a multipurpose space.


Location: Rochester, MN
Opening Date: May 2014
Equipment Cost: $560,000
Project Size: 3,500 SF


Foodservice Design
Demonstration & Teaching Kitchen
Production Kitchen
Retail Serving

“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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