Last spring, UWT said a sorrowful goodbye to campus soups and salads vendor Coco
Bob’s, with the hopes that a replacement for the newly vacant Mattress Factory outpost would be found by this fall. With the hard work of ASUWT and university administration over the last few months, this hope should soon become reality through an extension of West Coast Grocery which is currently being called the West Coast Grocery Annex.
The Annex, Director of Student Involvement Ed Mirecki clarified, would not be “just a West Coast Grocery part two”. The extra utilities would enable them to serve a variety of food and drinks along with the normal fare of salads,
sandwiches, and fresh fruit.
The proposal for a WCG Annex came from Administration and Finance, but the Student Center Planning Committee of ASUWT has ten days after the beginning of fall quarter to finalize its approval. However, as this option is the only one currently available, it will likely go through.
There were some primary concerns focused on throughout the planning process. First and foremost is the main concern of prices for students; it is a widely known fact that college students would like to keep the price of lunch around $5 and WCG Annex has made this a top priority. This goal is possible for the Annex in a way it had not been for Coco Bob’s because as an extension, as opposed to a standalone option, they can maintain a lower overhead by buying
West Coast Grocery is also a university owned and run vendor that operates on a not for profit business model whose gains go solely to cover cost; subsidizing has also been considered as an option for lowering prices. Now the Mattress Factory is a student building, which means that the money Coco Bob’s paid in rent went to the students, however with this new campus run vendor, the Mat is looking at a revenue sharing option that would give a certain percentage of the proceeds to students.
Another focal point of student concern is healthy food choices on campus, which the WCG Annex will strive to provide by carrying fresh fruits and vegetables from local food vendors, along with coffee and baked goods.
If and when the decision is finalized, West Coast Grocery plans to hold a naming competition to produce a title more interesting than “Annex,” so keep an eye out for more information on that as fall quarter kicks into gear.