Campus takes first step toward offering fresh produce in Brottier

Eliyahu Gasson | staff writer | New market offers Brottier residents with more easily accessible food options.

Eliyahu Gasson | Staff Writer

The new Brottier Market, located in the lounge on the first floor of Brottier Hall had its soft opening on Aug. 30. The new store currently offers non-refrigerated food items, cold beverages, office supplies, medicine, and cleaning products.

Maura Heusey, a graduate law student and Brottier resident, says that the new market is an added convenience for her.

“I’ve always said Brottier should have their own market since it’s an apartment-style building and that’d make it more self-sufficient,” Heusey said.

Before the opening of Brottier Market, residents of the building needed to either walk to Connections in the Duquesne Union or to the Campus Market on the other side of the Bluff.

Jordan Despines, another Brottier resident, sees themselves using the lounge area more in Brottier. “I’ll be reading in the lounge this winter when it’s cold and I don’t want to be outside,” Despines said.

According to Tara Jacobson, the general manager of Parkhurst Dining, there are plans to expand the new retailer’s offerings in the near future. The market wil stock refrigerated goods such as eggs, bacon and cheese. Parkhurst also intends to stock frozen foods like vegetables, ice cream and breakfast items.

Jacobson also said that there are plans to offer residents the option to buy fresh produce.

“We are working to source produce options but cannot carry them until we receive refrigeration permit,” Jacobson said.

The product selection at the new market is subject to change based on demand and feedback from Brottier residents.

“Our offerings will be fluid for some time while we experiment with what is successful,” Jacobson said.

According to Jacobson, Parkhurst will gauge what residents want using a suggestion box, focus groups and surveys to ensure that they carry the right products and meet the needs of Brottier residents.

Despines thinks that produce will be a great addition for residents of the building.

“I do (have a meal plan), but my roommates do not,” Despines said. “I know that would be super awesome, especially if we have class and we’re super busy.”

Duquesne students who do not live in Brottier hope that more campus locations will soon offer produce. St. Martin resident, Rachel Lewandowski, thinks other retail locations on campus such as the campus market leave much to be desired and have room for improvement.

“The market is a two-minute walk away but doesn’t have a good selection,” said Lewandowski.

“There is so much junk food. It’s hard to get even basic stuff like eggs and bread,” she said.

At the moment, there are no plans to sell fresh produce in other retail stores on campus.

“This is just not an avenue we have ever explored and would have to do a lot more research before committing to our culinary team,” Jacobson said.

“As of right now it [produce] will only be available in Brottier, but our markets are always evolving.”

Residents and guests may purchase goods from the store using a self-checkout kiosk. Customers have a variety of options when it comes to pay including debit, credit, flex or plus.

The Brottier Market will be open 24/7 to residents and guests of the building.