George Mason University Makes History with The Difference Baker: Unveiling the Nation’s First Certified Allergy-Friendly Retail Location on a College Campus

George Mason University (Mason) is thrilled to announce a momentous collaboration with The Difference Baker, marking a historic milestone in campus dining. The Difference Baker will be the first retail location on a college campus in the nation to offer a truly allergy-friendly experience, surpassing all expectations with its unparalleled dedication to allergen inclusivity. This innovative dining concept will be entirely free from seven of the top nine allergens, including fish, shellfish, soy, and sesame, setting a new standard for campus dining and catering to the diverse needs of its student community.

MenuTrinfo, a dedicated company providing allergen and nutritional information, as well as employee training and certification, applauds this progressive initiative in ensuring safe food service for the community. “Understanding clearly how to serve safe food in an independent retail store was a win for the food allergy community,” said Betsy Craig, President and CEO of MenuTrinfo. Craig went on to commend The Difference Baker for being an early adopter of the Certified Free From™️ accreditation. “Adding this to a wonderful campus dining service like George Mason University is truly groundbreaking and forward-thinking for the community,” Craig said.



The Difference Baker has a proven commitment to catering to various dietary requirements, and its new location on George Mason’s campus will be its second. Situated in the Nguyen Engineering Building, this new allergen-friendly retail concept represents an exciting partnership between George Mason University and The Difference Baker, driven by a shared vision of promoting inclusivity, innovation, and supporting the well-being of all Mason students.

“We could not be more honored to partner with the Mason Dining/Sodexo team at George Mason University,” said the owner of The Difference Baker, Alyssa Sobecki. “It is truly a dream come true. We are so excited to spread our love through allergen-friendly and safe food for those that can’t live without it!”

While some universities have introduced allergen-friendly initiatives, George Mason University’s commitment to excellence goes beyond, making it the first of its kind in the nation to offer this level of allergen inclusivity.

“We are thrilled to collaborate with The Difference Baker in pioneering this groundbreaking allergen-friendly retail concept,” stated Pascal Petter, Executive Director of Auxiliary Services at George Mason University. “Our goal is to provide a truly safe, innovative, and inclusive dining experience for all students. We recognize the significance of catering to a wide range of dietary needs and are proud to lead the way in this aspect of campus dining.”

Mason Dining/Sodexo has always strived to provide the highest quality dining experiences for their diverse community. The addition of The Difference Baker’s certified allergen-friendly retail concept reaffirms a commitment to excellence, well-being, and inclusivity. Mason believes that this innovative collaboration will elevate the campus dining experience and solidify the university’s position as a national leader in accommodating students with dietary restrictions.

The grand opening of The Difference Baker’s second location at Mason is an extraordinary milestone, symbolizing a landmark achievement in campus dining nationwide.

“We are delighted to embark on this historic journey alongside The Difference Baker, a shining example of our commitment to providing an unparalleled dining experience at George Mason University,” said Sodexo’s Vice President of Operations, John Teeple. “Sodexo takes immense pride in fostering innovation and inclusivity in campus dining, and this trailblazing collaboration reinforces our dedication to meeting the diverse needs of our student community.”

The introduction of this unprecedented allergen-friendly retail concept sets a new benchmark for other universities to follow and underscores a dedication to fostering an inclusive environment where every student can thrive.

For more information about George Mason University’s commitment to allergen-friendly dining and The Difference Baker’s certified menu, please visit