Bear Necessities makes living on campus more convenient

By Ana Berbel, Distribution Manager
The start of another school year here at West Liberty University has come with some changes in the College Union. Before leaving for summer break, students had different food choices including The Grille, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Jazzman’s Bakery. This fall dining options have seen some changes– Taco Bell and Pizza Hut have been replaced by Slice of Life and most of the food items that were carried by Jazzman’s have been moved to the new convenience store, also located in the Union, Bear Necessities. 

“Students have been asking for a campus store for years. We are hoping this will help students with shopping needs without leaving the hilltop. The Highlands is definitely not a skip and a jump away,” said Sodexo Retail Manager Rebecca Bowman. 
The new convenience store offers a wide variety of products. You can find grab and go foods, packaged foods, toiletries, hygiene, office supplies, frozen and refrigerated foods, beverages of all kinds and ice cream. There is also a ‘build your own salad bar,’ a healthy choice that has already been a hit amongst students. 
For students like me that don’t own a car and can’t go off campus easily, being able to get food and supplies on campus is very beneficial. It takes away the worry of finding a ride when in need. Also having everything in the same place makes the shopping process much faster. 
The new convenience store has also brought changes in Jazzman’s Bakery. The Simply to Go products that were sold at Jazzman’s are now sold at Bear Necessities, leaving the bakery with higher-end products. 
“Now that our new cooler is in place and up and running, we are offering some duplicate items in both the store and Jazzman’s like fruit, yogurt and PB&J’s. Chicken, Tuna, and Egg salad sandwiches are still being offered,” said Bowman. “Staying specific to Jazzman’s brand identity, you’ll find higher-end sandwiches like the Tuscany Chicken Ciabatta and the Santa Fe Turkey Ciabatta. We will also continue our famous panini’s with additional offers coming soon.”
The store also has extended hours providing students that stay on campus during the weekends a place where they can get food and other utilities. 
It is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. 
 “Having the store open every day of the week is very useful, especially during the weekends that I stay on campus. I like being able to have another food choice than just the cafeteria, since it does have limited hours during the weekends,” said student Colin Blackwell. “I also think it is better to have all the food items in the same place, it is super convenient. The ‘build your own salad’ bar is great, I probably use it every other day.”
Bear Necessities has already been a success amongst many students. Bowman suggests to keep an eye out for ongoing product additions and offerings based on sales and the suggestion box that is set up in the store.  
For more information, contact Bowman at [email protected].
Photo credit: Emily Salvatori