A common complaint among Stony Brook University students is the lack of food choices on campus. To make matters worse, another dining option has just announced it is officially gone.
After a decline in sales, the Grey Horse Tavern’s food truck – a rolling kitchen that used to serve organic and local food to students on campus – is no longer a dining option at SBU, according to the Faculty Student Association.
Angela Agnello, the director of marketing and communications at FSA, said in an email that “Grey Horse Tavern will no longer be operating their mobile truck on campus as it is no longer feasible for them to do so.”
Linda Ringhorse, one of the owners of the establishment, said that a few factors contributed to the decision to end the business agreement. The main reason, though, was that after the truck’s initial semester on campus, which was “very, very busy,” sales dropped off.
“It seemed to be that anyone who
tried the food and took note of what we were doing with the food and what our mission was really got it,” she said. “So in one aspect we had really great response, but with regard to how much it is to put that kind of food out every day and staff it and just maneuver the truck alone, unfortunately it didn’t pan out.”
Known as the GHT Rolling Kitchen, the truck was stationed outside of the Javits Lecture Center from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every weekday except for Wednesday, when it was parked outside the Stony Brook Union.
The truck, which first arrived on campus last April, prepared on-the-go meals for students with fresh ingredients sourced from local and sustainable farms. It served food items like gourmet grilled cheese, fried plantains, banana-Nutella-marshmallow crêpes and blackberry limeade at price points ranging from 2 to 7 dollars.
The food truck did not accept meal points, though, only cash.
Ringhorse said that while the decision to leave SBU is definite, it’s not necessarily permanent.
“We were very grateful to Stony Brook for giving us the opportunity,” she said. “It might have been just that the timing was off. If things change and there’s another opportunity for us we would definitely give it another try.”
Another campus dining facility is also closing down soon. California Pizza Kitchen is closing operations on campus this summer, according to the Campus Dining Office.
Crystal Samuel, a marketing intern for Campus Dining, said that she used to conduct surveys on customers at the Rolling Kitchen.
“A lot of people who used it were commuters, because they were the ones that didn’t really want to use meal plans and they liked that there was another option there besides Admin and the MarketPlace,” said Samuel, a junior double majoring in psychology and women’s studies.
Angello also said that “due to the level of interest from the campus community, the Faculty Student Association is currently exploring other possibilities for new vendors,” although specifics were not given.