Sodexo Out, Aladdin In

Brooke Griffin, Staff Writer

Kentucky Wesleyan College has switched their food services this school year. The former food company, Sodexo, has been replaced by Aladdin food services, solely for the better of our campus. Some great new additions to the campus food options have been made. Subconnection and Jazzman’s coffee shop has been diminished, along with Kentucky Wesleyan’s partnership with Papa John’s Pizza. There will, unfortunately, not be a replacement for Papa John’s. The Marketplace, however, will make up for the lack of a late-night option for food.

The Panther Café is one of the two new upgrades to campus. The building process is complete and it is now open for business where Subconnection was previously located in Winchester. The other addition, The Marketplace, is still currently a work in progress. Students may have noticed the construction happening next to The Panther’s Den. This is the location planned for the Marketplace, which is where Jazzman’s Coffee Shop was previously located.

Many students have questioned when the Marketplace will open and why it is not open yet. To answer these questions, Joshua Eckman from Aladdin was interviewed recently through email. “It was originally scheduled to open when the fall semester started in late August, but several issues with the drawings and the permitting process have unfortunately caused contractors to be put behind schedule,” according to Eckman. They are hoping to have the space fully open by mid-October. It will be open 24 hours a day, and the door will be locked with a swipe access, so students can have access to the store after hours.

In the meantime, there is a temporary marketplace open upstairs in the Hocker Dining Hall. It is located in the corner directly to the right when entering the door. It is currently open from 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. They have a variety of snacks available for students to purchase.
The Marketplace will serve a variety of things such as candy, chips, energy drinks, sodas, and grab-and-go snacks. Joshua Eckman said that they will be adding products more frequently, and will now have toiletries in both spaces. These items will be available for purchase by students with their Flex dollars.

Though people are understandably frustrated with the delays of construction, these changes are for the benefit of the campus and the student body as a whole. In order to better the campus, changes were necessary, and the construction is simply for these much needed changes to occur. Some minor inconveniences have arisen throughout the course of the transition from Sodexo to Aladdin, and though the process has been somewhat delayed due to this, the campus will eventually be updated according to the plans already created.

Despite all of the negativity surrounding the change in dining choices, Aladdin seems to be a relatively popular food service company, as they cater to colleges like Dubuque, Fairmont State University, and many more throughout the country. Aladdin’s website states, “We believe that every meal should be an important part of a student’s overall education experience. Our promotions and special events not only create interest among resident students, but they can also provide an opportunity to bring all campus constituencies together to build community on your campus.”

Not only does Aladdin seem to make the students on campus a priority, but they also have a relatively flexible schedule, and accommodate the campus that they are working for. Though things may be moving slowly, renovations will ultimately result in higher student moral overall.