Ben Weingartner ’16 has visited Marketplace’s new Veggin’ Out station four times. He enjoys, among other offerings, the station’s steamed carrots, veggie burgers and sliced potatoes. Weingartner said he has had a good experience every time he has been there, and he’s not even vegetarian.
“I just like the variety. It’s very different, but very good,” Weingartner said. “I hope they continue to keep this because I know it can be hard for [people with special diets] otherwise.”
Veggin’ Out was added to the food court over the summer as part of Dining Services’ continued efforts to accommodate students’ varied diets. The full-time vendor serves solely vegan and vegetarian options, replacing last year’s Home Zone station.
The station incorporates fresh vegetarian and vegan ingredients, which chefs cook on a visible stovetop. This helps students know exactly what they are eating and how it is prepared.
“It’s an action station. It’s all done right there in from of [them],” Food Service Director of Marketplace Kathleen Myers said.
Meal options for students with dietary needs have become more common across campus. The Commons Dining Hall was the first to implement a vegetarian and vegan only station. Two years ago, the Commons and Sadler Center introduced Outside of the Box, which offered allergy and special diets entrees. This summer’s renovations to Sadler include an entire section of vegan options, and most regular dining stations include vegetarian alternatives as well.
“I like that the pasta in Sadler, most of the time, is vegetarian,” Shruti Sharma ’16 said. “Additionally, the Mongolian Grill is great because they’ve got that place sectioned off for vegetarians on the grill.”
Marketplace has now joined the ranks of on-campus food sources that provide diverse vegetarian options and, dining managers hope, will become a quick favorite amongst those with special dietary needs. The College has seen an influx of vegetarian and vegan students, and Dining Services said that the dining halls are doing their utmost to make sure that those with dietary preferences and restrictions are accommodated.
“It was reasonable to put a dedicated vegetarian concept at Marketplace,” Marketing Manager Faren Alston said. “We’re not here to serve just one kind of student.”
Veggin’ Out has received a quiet, but pleased reception from the student body. Although many students still do not know of its existence, those who have sampled it seem to enjoy the fare. Some students, like Weingartner, have even come back for more.
“The people who work there are very friendly and they put a lot of effort into making sure you like what they make,” Sharma said. “I think they’re doing good work here.”