Yale will open a portable mini-convenience store at 155 Whitney Ave. — a building that houses Yale administrative resources — within the next several weeks, Associate Vice President for Student Financial and Administrative Services Ernst Huff said Saturday.
The new store will cater to Yale human resources and administrative staff who work at 155 Whitney and 221 Whitney Ave., where there are currently limited dining options. This new addition follows the University’s acquisition of 221 Whitney Ave. five years ago, which resulted in a significant increase in the number of employees in the area, Huff said.
“This is a particular location where we have significant numbers of Yale employees located but there are very few dining options up there,” Huff said. “We felt it was an opportunity to meet a customer need as well an opportunity to generate some revenue.”
The new service is “semi-portable,” in that it can be moved from building to building, Huff said.
“It’s all self-contained, and when not opened for business it can be totally secured and locked up and left in place,” said Huff.
Despite this portability, the store will offer many food choices, Huff said. The cart will feature coffee and pastries for breakfast and salads and sandwiches for lunch.
The unit has already been built, and the University is now in the process of hiring people to staff the cafe, Huff said.
Yale Staffing and Career Development Director Cathy Vellucci, who works at 155 Whitney, said she is happy about the new addition.
“I dislike going out for lunch everyday, especially on cold and rainy days,” Vellucci said. “It provides a more convenient resource for the staff.”
Human Resources Transaction Center Manager Jaci-Beth Ward also said she thinks the cafe is a good idea, but she said she still plans on frequenting other dining establishments in the area.
“It’s a really good idea because there is nothing close to the building, but it certainly won’t completely replace going out for food,” Ward said.
Undergraduates agreed that the mini-store is a good addition, but said they do not think the new service will affect them, given that the store is relatively far from central campus.
“I know the mini-store will be close to Science Hill and some of my classes, but I doubt I would use it that much,” Jocelyn Traina ’10 said. “It seems it’s focused more on Yale employee use.”
Still, Kate Arata ’07 said she thinks the store should be advertised to Yale students, since they will be allowed to purchase items at the cafe.
“Although the dining service is focusing on the employees in this Whitney area, it would be nice if this new service was more accessible to students,” Arata said.
This new dining option will be added to Yale Retail Dining Services, which now includes Donaldson Commons, Kline Biology Tower, Durfee’s and the sandwich shop in the Art and Architecture Building.