Founded in 1919, the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital has served as a leader in pediatric care in the state of Iowa and beyond. In 2017, Rippe Associates had the pleasure of collaborating with the hospital’s project team to design and execute the foodservice components for the hospital’s new construction project.

The goal of the project was to design a state-of-the-art, patient-centered foodservice facilities, tailored to meet the hospital’s unique requirements of providing high-quality, nutritious, and diverse meals to patients, their families, and the hospital staff.

Project scope included five distinct areas of focus: the back of house kitchen area, front of house servery, galley kitchen in the lower level, NICU formula room on the sixth floor, and a pantry kitchen on the twelfth floor.

With an innovative and forward-thinking design of the foodservice facilities, each element of space was carefully planned and tailored to meet the unique needs of the hospital. From the captivating color palettes to the unique elliptical shape of the building, every detail has been purposefully chosen based on scientific evidence, to create the perfect environment for a children’s hospital.

Central to this design was the implementation of a state-of-the-art kitchen facility, which included advanced cooking equipment and innovative food storage solutions. This allowed for greater flexibility in food preparation and the ability to serve fresh, healthy meals to patients and staff alike.

The food service area was thoughtfully designed to provide a warm and friendly environment and comprises multiple stations that support a well-rounded menu ranging from fresh-made pizzas and sandwiches to vegan and gluten-free alternatives, all while adhering to the most stringent sanitary standards.

The top floor of the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital offers a unique escape for families and children, providing a break from the usual confines of a hospital environment. It features the renowned Press Box, providing the finest view of Kinnick Stadium in the city. Countless children and their families have enjoyed watching Hawkeye football games from this privileged spot, while also participating in the heartwarming tradition of “The Wave” – a powerful symbol of care and kindness.

Rippe Associates was honored to have been a contributing member of the project team and to share our foodservice design expertise and commitment to excellence ensuring that the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital had a foodservice infrastructure that could support their patients’ growth and development. Through this immensely collaborative effort, the end result is a world-class medical facility capable of meeting the requirements of the ever-changing healthcare landscape.


Opening Date: February 2017
Equipment Cost: $1,100,000
FOH: 2,000 SF
BOH: 1,900 SF
LL Galley Kitchen: 400 SF
NICU Formula Room: 300 SF
Pantry Kitchen: 300 SF


Full design from SD through CA, project included kitchen, retail servery, galley kitchen in lower level, NICU formula room on the 6th floor, and a pantry kitchen on the 12th floor.

“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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