New Campus Market breaks into the market on Main Street


Courtesy of Alan Golden

Maggie McKendy (right), Kent Mayor Jerry Fiala and Nicole Awad (left) cut the ribbon for the Kent’s newest convenience store Campus Mart. The ceremony was held Jan. 14 at the store off Main Street.

Leah Shepard, Staff Reporter

Maggie & Nicole’s Campus Market, Kent’s newest convenience store, celebrated its grand opening Friday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony – filling “a gap that was left” in the community after Circle K’s closure in 2020.

The new business, which officially opened Jan. 9, is located at 901 E. Main Street, the same address as the old Circle K.

“We want to be able to provide that fast convenience,” said Maggie McKendry, the store’s co-owner and Kent State’s associate athletics director for athletic advancement, “for our university faculty and staff, as well as our community.”

McKendry started the business with her longtime best friend, Nicole Awad, who previously owned the Main Street Continental Grille that was once located next door to Campus Market.

Campus Markey co-owner Nicole Awad (right) clinks her champagne glass with her best friend and store’s other co-owner, Maggie McKendry at their new business’ ribbon cutting event. (Courtesy of Alan Golden)

University faculty, Kent city employees and community members attended the ribbon cutting, which was followed by a champagne toast.

“Anytime we can make the community more accessible to the students and make their experience more enjoyable and memorable is good,” said Robin Golden, who has taught at Theodore Roosevelt High School for 19 years. “We’re just excited about another asset to the community.”

Her husband, Alan Golden, called Campus Market a “facelift” to the community compared to the vacant building it was before.

Kent Mayor Jerry Fiala, who helped cut the ribbon at the ceremony, said the new business is a “necessity” to locals and students who seek alternatives to larger, chain grocery stores that dominate the market.

“It’s going to bring together the community,” Fiala said. “The students always need something to eat or drink, and it’s not too far out of the way for year-round residents to come here and shop as well.”

“It’s in the neighborhood. You don’t need to go downtown to get what you need.”

The convenience store supplies food and drink items, including alcohol, as well as necessities like pads, tampons, condoms and other toiletries. It stocks lottery tickets and tobacco products.

Campus Market sells food, drinks and other necessities. (Leah Shepard)

“It’s a great facility, and a great business for the community,” said Melody Tankersley, Kent State’s senior vice president and provost and a Kent native of 20 years. “Our students need a place where they can grab snacks, and our community does.”

“Having it here keeps businesses going. It’s important for the economy of the community as well. It’s a welcome addition.”

Campus Market hopes to accept FlashCash soon, which will allow Kent State students to purchase items using preloaded money on their FLASHCard IDs.

McKendry said her newfound entrepreneurship venture focuses on everyone in the Kent community.

“I look at this as completely separate from my job at the university,” McKendry said. “This is more just my love for the city of Kent and the community.”

Flash, Kent State’s mascot, attended Campus Market’s ribbon-cutting ceremony. (Courtesy of Alan Golden)

As women entrepreneurs, McKendry and Awad expressed their wish to see more women succeed in business in the area.

“I hope that other women will want to get involved in other types of business in different places in the community where they maybe have not been welcome before,” McKendry said, “and hopefully we can help pave the way for that.”

Leah Shepard is a staff reporter. Contact her at [email protected].