Monday, February 18, 2013

Juice drinks, ethnic foods popular at UIS convenience store

When University of Illinois Springfield students get cravings for a fresh-squeezed lemon shake-up, shrimp crackers or even a wheatgrass shot, they know where to go.

Since September, a former snack bar in Lincoln Residence Hall has been open as Grab-n-Go, a combination juice bar and basic/ethnic convenience-food store.

Randy Williams, food service administrator, said the store came about from student suggestions.

“We do a lot of surveying around here, and it started out the students just wanted a convenience store,” he said. “They kept wanting things that are healthy.”

Because the number of international students enrolled at UIS has increased by 25 percent in just a couple of years — to 248 this academic year — there also was a call to have somewhere for those students to get familiar foods.

“They can get their comfort foods,” Williams said. “They can get rice, spices and the pastes they cook with. Right now, we’re stocking more Asian items because of the Chinese New Year.”

The Grab-n-Go was featured by the State Journal-Register on February 16, 2013.

Read the article online