TCU offers allergy-free dining options


Photo courtesy of TCU dining services.

By Madison Goforth

There’s a new option on campus for students with food allergies or those looking to follow an allergen-free diet.

Magnolia’s in the King Family Commons Building (KFCB) doesn’t cook with soy, gluten, dairy, egg, tree nuts, peanuts or shellfish.

All the restaurants in the KFCB are scratch kitchens, said Monica Luna, retail manager at King Family Commons Building. She said bringing in fresh ingredients every day makes cooking allergen-free much easier.

Mia Solheim, a sophomore living in nearby Marion Hall, welcomed the change. “Being gluten-free has been hard in the past to have a good variety in my diet, but now Magnolia’s makes it a lot easier and more enjoyable,” she said.

Craig Allen, the director of housing and residence life, said Magnolia’s is the best place for this conversion because of its self-contained kitchen.

“Students can be confident about avoiding any cross contamination and be sure they are safe to here,” he said.

Over the years the concern for gluten free, dairy free and other allergen free dining options has been growing, Allen said. More than 15 million people in the U.S. have food allergies. Others are allergen-free by choice.

Monica Luna, retail manager at King Family Commons Building, said the kitchen has its own unique staff and is starting from ground zero.

“This summer was a lot of studying,” she said. “We went to the grocery stores and read a lot of labels, we did a lot of research and we talked to a lot of students and their mothers.

“It was fun to learn how to make meals with different substitutes,” Luna said. “It is a process learning to make a dairy-free macaroni and cheese, but when we hear the students’ positive reactions it is all worth it.”

Miranda Ross, a committee member on the Student Government Association dining committee said, “for people like me who actually have allergen needs, it is the coolest place on campus to eat now.”

To learn more about Magnolia’s and other allergen free dining options on campus, go to