The SAC Market — which opened its doors on Jan. 26 in the Student Activities Center (SAC) — is split up into three sections: the Argo Tea Café, Craft Salads and Bowls and the SBU Marketplace at the SAC.
The SAC Market includes tables and chairs where students can eat and relax, complete with outlets to charge devices. Amanda Alicea, the Faculty Student Association (FSA) business development manager, said that the SAC Market was designed to be as “flexible” as possible for the student body.
“We really wanted to make sure that we focused on bringing craveable sustainable, authentic options with plenty of variety focused on the grab-and-go aspect,” Alicea said. “We really wanted to also build a space so that if you do have some time, you can plug in your computer, spend some time with friends or work on a project.”
The popular Chicago based tea company and franchise, Argo Tea Café, offers a wide selection of beverages, including different flavored tea, coffee, espresso, bubble tea, tea squeeze and teapuccinos.
“It’s cool. It’s trendy. It’s a lot more than just tea, although they have about a dozen different teas on tap,” Angela Agnello, FSA director of marketing & communications, said. “It also has things like vegan muffins and a breakfast program that has a lot of pastries and things like that. So there’s a lot more to it.”
Idalia Borzone, a sophomore chemistry major, enjoyed the hibiscus lemonade she bought from the Argo Tea Café, however, thought the price was steep.
“It’s about the same price as Starbucks and Starbucks is overpriced,” she said. “Four dollars for a small lemonade? A little bit of a rip off to be honest. But it was good.”
The SBU Marketplace section includes an international food bar, frozen dessert freezer, SBU Sweets display and more.
The international food bar, which is priced at $8.95 per pound, offers nine different hot food options and two soup options. The options are in constant rotation; some include Rigatoni Bolognese, Chipotle Lime Rotisserie Chicken and Shrimp and Cauliflower Rice “Risotto.”
“A lot of thought went into it to have options that students could customize that they can enjoy,” Agnello said. “Because this is a diverse campus, that’s why you wanted to have a rotating menu in that hot food bar with all those different global flavors. We really want students to be excited about that.”
Agnello said that the SBU Marketplace at the SAC wanted to invoke the “look and feel of a Whole Foods” with its fresh ingredients.
Brianna Blagrove, a sophomore biology major, ate at the new international food station. She enjoyed the food and thought the price was reasonable.
“I grew up in the city, so I’m used to paying $50 for like two pieces of potatoes and some corn,” she joked. “So $6, that’s fine, but I know $9 a pound isn’t reasonable for everybody on campus.”
The SBU Marketplace at the SAC includes a display from SBU Sweets, which houses homemade cupcakes, pies and cookies by campus baker Jacquie Greene, Agnello said.
Craft Salads and Bowls, where students order through kiosks, offers eight different specialized salads, as well as an option to build your own salad. They also offer two different hot food bowls per day, which changes daily.
“[The kiosks] are made for speed of service,” Alicea said. “So you kind of go in, either select from a curated menu or have the option to customize. And so we know that students do our market research are really into being able to choose their own options.”
Michael Stiso, a junior business management major, said that the SAC Market’s look felt “fresh and inviting” and that the atmosphere is reminiscent of a Starbucks. He enjoyed his Santa Fe Chicken Salad from Craft Salads and Bowls, which he used the kiosk to order, an experience that he preferred.
“I like that they are pushing healthy with the bowls and everything,” he said. “It’s just a lot of different flavors and stuff that I wouldn’t think I would try otherwise.”
The SAC Market will have an official grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Feb. 21 from 2-3 p.m. and will include free food samples.
“We’re really looking for the campus to join us and be excited about a space that we built for them,” Agnello said. “We really feel that campus deserves new and exciting options and variety. And so we’re excited to bring this to campus.”