By Tess Koman
A sushi stand will be opening in the Reamer Campus Center the first day of spring term classes, Monday, March 26. The stand will be located where the Starbucks and Freshens cafe were previously situated and will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday.
“We really felt there was a huge opportunity to expand onto the retail offering of Dutch Hollow. We did polling on campus and really resoundingly what we heard was ‘we want sushi,’” said Director of Dining Services David Gaul.
Gaul noted that this stand has been an opportunity to provide the campus community with Reamer dining options beyond Dutch Hollow and O3. He noted that sushi has been a popular item among the members of the campus community when it is occasionally served in student dining halls and sold daily in Dutch Hollow, the Wold Center Starbucks, and the kiosk in College Park Hall. He attributes this popularity with giving him the idea to put the sushi stand in Reamer.
The stand will offer approximately eight to 10 varieties of sushi and a few types of soup, such as miso, egg drop, and sweet and sour. Prices will be similar to those at Mr. Wasabi, in the $6 to $7 price range, depending on the variety of sushi and the type of fish inside of the roll. The stand will accept all major credit cards, declining balance, cash, and department faculty charges.
“We originally had talked about the service being hand-rolled to order, but unfortunately with common hour, it would be impossible to roll to order. What you’ll see down there is kind of like you’d see at Price Chopper, where they’re rolling, cutting, packaging, and ordered. But during the evening or when it’s less busy, it will be made-to-order,” said Gaul.
Sodexo will partner with AFC Sushi, a contractor that will provide all of the sushi and soup and has previous experience and knowledge dealing with hand-rolled sushi. Gaul expressed that Sodexo has engaged in this partnership because it was limited with its in-house offerings due to a lot of health laws involving the ways in which sushi is rolled and handled.
Dining Services plans to host a grand opening of the sushi stand the week of April 9. During this grand opening, there will be giveaways and raffles available to the student body. Additionally, there will be a naming contest in which students can submit names for the stand via e-mail and then Student Forum members will select a winner. Gaul furthermore hopes to have a ribbon cutting ceremony during ReUnion weekend.
“I think it’s going to go very very well. I think it will have a very long life span on campus. It affords us the opportunity to bring in other ethnic food on campus. Such as, maybe, for one week every month we do Thai, we have an opportunity to veer from sushi and do something international in that space. It was decided that we needed something flexible and to do something that we didn’t have in Dutch,” said Gaul.
While the stand is opening with a limited variety of sushi options, depending on its success on campus, Dining Services has the option of vastly expanding its sushi offerings as well as including rice and noodle bowls. Gaul expressed that he wants to gauge how sales will compare with Dutch Hollow and other campus food services before making any official decisions.
“We’ll see how we do for 10 weeks. The hours and days are negotiable. There are opportunities to do catering on campus—even student catering. We are thinking about the future and what catering means on campus, creating a student centered package where you could order sushi or a platter of subs and so on and so forth. There are a lot of opportunities for growth on campus with this,” said Gaul.