By Emma Ladouceur
University at Albany Dining Services has opened a fruit bar in the Campus Center and it’s off to a sweet start! Students are lining up at the Fresh Fruit Bar for a healthy snack that has been added to the Campus Center’s dining options.
From 8 P.M. until 7 P.M. (or until they run out), six types of seasonal fruit will be rotated based on availability. The menu will include melons, berries and any other fruit that is fresh and ready.
A 16-ounce fruit cup costs $4.99 and a 32-ounce bowl costs $9.79.
Students receive 50% off when they use their UAlbany Discount Dollars at the stand.
“We’ve heard for a while that one of the things that were missing in the overall dining portfolio was a fruit bar,” said Stephen Pearse, the executive director of Auxiliary Services. “And so when Jeff [Kurto, General Manager of retail dining] came to us with the idea, we thought it would be a great addition.”
The Fresh Fruit Bar took over space where the guacamole bar was previously located.
“Our guacamole stand was a great idea, it was very popular at first, but the transactions began to tail off towards the end of the fall semester,” Jeff Kurto said, referencing the replacement of the guacamole stand. “Meanwhile, we were getting some requests for fruit so we thought we would change it up and see how it went.”
The fruit bar is in a convenient location and depending on its success could lead to permanency.
“As trends come up and students express a desire to have something different, that’s a perfect spot to pilot because if it’s something we want permanently, we can look for another place to put it in,” said Pearse.
Before the Fresh Fruit Bar opened this semester, there were little to no fruit options offered in the Campus Center.
“There was not a large variety of healthy fruit options for that time,” said Roxanne Welch, the Director of Dining and Contracting Service within the Auxiliary Services. “I think that lends to its [the Fresh Fruit Bar’s] success.”
The new fruit bar has increased traffic to the Campus Center as well as sales. The guacamole bar had an average of 12 to 15 orders per day according to Kurto. Now, the fruit bar is seeing an average of almost 200 orders per day.
For a healthy alternative, you can check out the new Fresh Fruit Bar in the Campus Center.