Redefining dining

Sarah McGrath

Kent Market II adapts to better suit student appetites

Bianca Brown, sophomore criminal justice major, prepares made-to-order omelets during the morning rush. New to the Kent Market II this semester, the omelet bar is open from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Abby Fisher | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: Ron Soltys

In an effort to meet student needs, Kent Market II, located on the second floor of the Student Center, made significant changes to some of its food stations.

This semester, instead of eating at Pacific Traders, students will now be able to order omelets and Belgian waffles.

Pacific Traders, which provided food similar to JUMP Asian Express, a stir-fry station in the Hub, and Charleston Market, a station that offered Southern-style food, have been deleted from the market due to a lack of business, said Cathy Kurtz, unit manager for Kent Market II.

“Basically what we did was watch the different areas last semester to see which ones weren’t attracting a lot of business,” Kurtz said. “We wanted to add more variety to the cafeteria’s line of products, so we deleted the food stations that weren’t getting much business.”

The new station was added to the market to give students a different choice from food already available in the Student Center, which provides an “enormous variety of products,” Kurtz said.

“I wanted to do something that you couldn’t get downstairs,” Kurtz said. “So we did the omelets and we did the waffles. Either one of those items you can eat anytime during the day.”

Katie Troha, sophomore conflict management major, said she enjoys the food at the market a few times a week and really likes the changes that were made.

“I think it’s cool that we have the omelets and other breakfast food because people who can’t eat before they go to their morning classes can come here,” she said.

Other changes in the market include a new soup bar and the addition of gourmet burgers to the Grille’s existing menu.

The soup bar is a quick way for students to come in and grab something to eat, without having to wait in a line, Kurtz said.

The gourmet burgers, which went into full force Monday, will provide students with a different type of burger each day.

“One day the burger might be cheddar and bacon, another day it will be green peppers and onions,” Kurtz said. “These burgers are made here, fresh, everyday so we can get more of a variety.”

For vegans on campus, the market is now featuring a whole line of vegan products in the “grab-and-go sections” Kurtz said. Vegan foods do not use any animal products, according to the Vegan Society Web site.

“We are trying to accommodate vegans on campus,” Kurtz explained. “We have a vegan pasta everyday at Olives.”

Junior pre-med major Ravi Patel eats at the market at least three times a week and said he is extremely happy with the new vegetarian and vegan- friendly choices.

“I like it better than Pacific Traders,” he said. “I’m a vegetarian, so the omelets and vegan food really help.”

With only a few weeks of the semester completed, the new stations appear to be going over well with students.

“We have had a couple of comments about Pacific Traders being deleted but we have had a lot more students complimenting the omelet and waffle station,” Kurtz said. “Business at the omelet station is really doing well.”

Only minor changes were made to the stations themselves, such as buying the correct materials needed to make the omelets and waffles and training the chefs and students who work at the new stations. Kurtz said making the transition was relatively quick and easy.

“There was no real cost to change the food stations — it was just set-up and training,” she said.

Contact room and board reporter Sarah McGrath at [email protected].