The Caxy Community: Areli Aquino


Garrison Sloan

By Garrison Sloan

Staff Writer

Most students at Lake Forest Academy are familiar with Sonia’s Snack Bar. The friendly little counter stationed outside of the main dining hall is beloved by students who want a drink, sweets, or a small meal while the dining hall isn’t open. While students all know and love the snack bar, many don’t  know the woman behind the counter.

Areli Aquino, the manager of Sonia’s Snack Bar, was originally born in Mexico. She grew up in the Waukegan-Zion area, and she currently lives in Zion. She manages Sonia’s through Sodexo, the company that services most of LFA’s food, catering, and janitorial needs.

I sat down with Areli for an interview in the JC Cowart Student Union. The bustling center of student life on campus is home to the little snack station known as Sonia’s. Sonia’s has always been a central part of the LFA community and environment, a place where students get snacks and drinks before going to study or hang out in the other parts of the Student Union.

Aquino is the main woman behind everything at Sonia’s. She manages everything from individual sales to restocking and organization, and even sending out emails informing students about new or returning products.

“Getting ready before the school year starts, deciding what to bring back, what sells and what doesn’t, I think that’s the hardest part until the beginning of the year,” she said. “Then filtering what does and doesn’t work during the school year, restocking and organization, all of that goes through me.”

Despite the chaos of managing the snack bar, Areli said that she loves the job, and has especially loved the LFA community.

“My previous job was actually at a Subway,” Aquino told me. “It was a very chaotic environment, and some customers were very rude. But working here, I haven’t experienced that. The community is really positive. The students are very nice, and I enjoy talking with them. It’s not really like any other job I’ve ever had.”

I asked Aquino one last question; if she could tell the student body one thing about her and the rest of the Sodexo staff, what would it be? Her answer was this:

“Each person in the kitchen, each person that works for Sodexo cares about what they do and the people the do it for,” she said. “While each and every person on the Sodexo staff tries to get their job done, we always have the student body in mind.”