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Campus Grocery Freshens up Its Offerings

From spinach, peaches, and watermelon to cookie dough, the results of a recent student poll guided AU Dining as it updated offerings at the campus grocery store in Constitution Hall.

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AU Dining has updated the products at the East Campus Grocery store in Constitution Hall.

Students spoke. AU Dining listened. 

The East Campus Grocery, which opened in January in Constitution Hall, will be stocked with new products and more fresh produce after spring break. The updates are based on an Instagram poll about students’ tastes, which garnered more than 100 responses.  

“We made a commitment to listen to our students and bring in popular products,” said Lou Christopher, AU’s resident district manager for dining services provider Chartwells. “Having open communication about what students want and need is important.” 

In addition to fresh, in-season produce—including mint, plums, mushrooms, spinach, peaches, mangos, nectarines, watermelon, raspberries, and pomegranates—students asked for butter, cookie dough, and vegan macaroni and cheese. The store will also source beef and produce from Airlie Berkshire Farm. 

The grocery, located on the first floor of Constitution Hall, alongside Freshens and its late-night counterpart, Cravetown, will sell products at prices lower than or comparable to nearby stores, including Wegman’s and Giant on Wisconsin Avenue and Whole Foods in Tenleytown. 

Initially, Auxiliary Services and representatives from Chartwells used on-campus shopping data and feedback from meetings with student government members to stock the East Campus Grocery. But the Instagram poll and in-person suggestions informed the next steps. The dining team learned, for example, that students prefer full-size portions of hummus and yogurt, rather than single-serve options. 

“We wanted to look at how we could provide options for students who needed quick access while on campus,” said Ann Marie Powell, senior director of dining and auxiliary services. 

Powell said AU Dining plans to continually seek feedback from students on desired products. “We want to always see what’s selling and what’s popular, and we’ll evolve and adjust.” 

Freshens replaced Build Pizza and sells salads, bowls, flatbreads, and smoothies. After 8 p.m., the eatery becomes Cravetown, which offers finger foods like chicken wings and pizza slices. Both Cravetown and the East Campus Grocery are open until midnight. 

AU Dining is also exploring healthy vending machine offerings at Anderson Hall, the Spring Valley Building, and Butler Pavilion.